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A. Piste, 1822. 


Ffom a miniature given to Rev. C, Mayo, D.D„ and now in the possession 0/ Miss Mayo.. 





Author of " An Introduction to Education," 

"English National Education," 

"Oberlin," etc. 






[All rights reserved] 


*' Oh, how true it is that the teacher without psycho- 
logy does his work as badly as an old woman doctoring." 
Thus wrote Steinmiiller in 1799, in relation to Pesta- 
lozzi's ideas. Pestalozzi said : " I want to psychologise 
instruction ". There is still some room for a modern 
Pestalozzi. Meantime much may be gained by a study 
of Pestalozzi's attempts to psychologise education. A 
study of origins is, to a student sufficiently well prepared, 
a great aid to the fullest grasp of pure theory ; for 
abstract science, so far as it is true, must proceed from 
and return to its simplest forms. To say the least of it, 
he is very much to be envied or pitied who cannot still 
learn something from Pestalozzi. 

The aim of the present account of the life and work 
of Pestalozzi is to provide students, and teachers who 
still study, with the material for a thoughtful survey of 
the principles and practices of one of the greatest of the 
world's pioneer educators and educationists. Every effort 
has been made to set forth as clearly as possible what 
Pestalozzi thought, wrote, and did, and not to expound 


what the writer of this book thinks of what Pestalozzi 
thought, and wrote, and did. Of course this does not 
mean that no opinions are given; but great care has 
been taken to restrict these as much as possible. The 
greatest success of this volume will be that it gives the 
fullest opportunity, and greatest stimulus, to the readers 
to do their own thinking and formulate their own con- 

To this end very full and frequent quotations are 
made both from translations of Pestalozzi's works, and 
from the writings of those who knew him best; and were 
most competent to criticise, favourably and unfavourably, 
his work. Whilst this should be helpful as an easy 
introduction to a general view of the man and his work, 
it is hoped that it will also lead the reader to the original 
sources, or their translations. Those who have not 
thus gone to the original sources will be surprised to 
find how easily and quickly they can read through 
books for the reading of which the mind has already 
been well prepared. 

This is to cultivate the true student method. Nothing 
is so mentally degrading as to regard a book as an 
examination task, and to be grateful to the writer in 
proportion as he has done all the thinking, and, so to 
say, tied up the results in well-arranged and plainly 
labelled parcels, so that they may be easily stored 
amongst the memory cargo, and readily unpacked when 
required. To aim at examination success only, or 


mainly, is the most certain way of killing intellectual 
growth and development. 

The educational function of a writer is to do for the 
readers what the wise teacher does for his pupils, i.e., 
give them the best materials, conditions and oppor- 
tunities for self-activity and self-development. If this 
be done, the attitude and the aptitudes of the research 
student will be fostered, and a scientific grasp result 
from a scientific method. In this way intelligent 
readers should obtain from a book with such a topic as 
this one, some idea of the evolution of educational 
systems; of the genetic theory of thought itself; and 
some sense of historical perspective — which will teach a 
proper modesty in estimating the progress of our own 
times. To realise how much of the present consists of 
the past, and how much more of truth and strength 
than of error and weakness there was in the great men 
of old, will reveal to us unexpected treasures of know- 
ledge and inspiration. 

So far as the present writer has, by selection, given a 
particular tone and colouring to his view of his hero, he 
has deliberately chosen to make it as appreciative as 
possible. He has sought to include everything con- 
cerning the man which, he believes, has done, and will 
do, good to the world at large ; and rigorously to ex- 
clude all that is foreign to this purpose. He holds the 
view that all that is good should live after a man, and all 
that is not so should be decently buried with his bones 


— except in so far as the pathologist of men and man- 
ners can make a proper and profitable use of it. In 
particular it is the educational good which it is desired 
to propound and perpetuate. Pestalozzi was, educa- 
tionally, one of the world's greatest benefactors. 

My special thanks are due to Miss Mayo, of River- 
dale, Dorking, for her generous and valuable help in 
allowing me to make use of Dr. Mayo's literary re- 
mains ; and for having copies made of the original 
pictures of which reproductions are given in this book. 
I am also indebted to Rev. Canon C. H. Mayo, of 
Long Burton Vicarage, Sherborne, for information 
gleaned from his Genealogical Account of the Mayo and 
Elton Families. 


Leeds, T.jth jfuly, 1908. 




Preface iii 

I. The Spirit of the Times i 

II. Early Years and Education ig 

III. He Begins His Life-work 32 

IV. Pestalozzi as a Literary Man 50 

V. Pestalozzi at Stanz and Burgdorf . , . .71 

VI. Pestalozzi at Yverdon gi- 

VII. The Death-song 113 

VIIL Pestalozzi the Man 120 

IX. Pestalozzi the Thinker ....... 142 

X. Pestalozzi the Thinker (continued) 167 

XI. Pestalozzi's Methods of Teaching Language, Form 

and Number ig7 

XII. Pestalozzi's Methods of Teaching Various Other 

Subjects 230 

XIII. Pestalozzi's General Methods and Views . , . 256 

XIV. Pestalozzi as a Practical Teacher .... 283 
XV. Some Criticisms on Pestalozzi's Theories . , . 291 

XVI. What Pestalozzi did for Education .... 307 

Some Books for Reference, and Suggestions for 

Further Reading 3ig 

Index , , , , . 321 



Pestalozzi Frontispiece 

From a miniature given to Rev, C, Mayo, D.D., and now in 
the possession of Miss Mayo. 


View of Yverdon . . ' 91 

From a sketch in the possession of Miss Mayo. 

Pestalozzi at Yverdon. An allegorical picture ; Pestalozzi is in 
his room at the Castle, yet the Castle is in the scene through 
the window 256 

From a transparency in the possession of Miss Mayo. 

Part of a Letter written by Pestalozzi. The sketch of 

THE Castle (Yverdon) is by Dr. Mayo .... 314 

From MS. in the possession of Miss Mayo. 




Given a certain native genius of mind and character, 
it is true of most of the world's great men that they are 
as much the product of their own and previous times as 
they are the reformers of their own age, and the formers 
of some of the elements of all subsequent ages. It is, 
therefore, necessary to know something of the spirit of 
the times in which a man lived if we are to know, fully 
and truly, what he was and what he did. It has been 
well said that a proverb is the wisdom of all ages wit- 
tily expressed — world wisdom crystallised by individual 
wit. In much the same way it is true to say that the 
wisdom and work of the world's heroes represent the 
wisdom and work of all men articulated and universal- 
ised by a great master-man. Not every one, however, can 
make proverbs, nor can every one discover and reveal 
foundation principles. It needs at least a flash of genius 
for the one and a man of genius for the other. We can 
get only as we give ; and he who sees the world's secrets 
is he- who has the large vision and the great soul. All 
are called but few are chosen : all come under the in- 
fluences, but only the finely tempered mind and man is 
in " sympathetic vibration " with them. From him rings 
out the new note of revelation ; and happy is the world 
if it hearkens thereto. 



The master-mind is not the only star in a particular 
intellectual firmament, but it is at least one of the suns 
therein. The real founder of theories and institutions 
is not necessarily the first or the only one who has 
thought and acted in such matters, but he who gathers 
up and puts into clear and potent form great truths : 
he who universalises what has hitherto been individual 
and special : he who gives to all what would otherwise 
have been only for the few : he who completes, in the 
large sense, what others only began. The great man 
can no more exist without the help of smaller men, than 
smaller men can become greater without the help of 
the great man. How much each owes to the other it 
is useless to discuss and impossible to determine : we 
might as well ask whether the product ah is the more 
indebted to the factor a or h. It is sufficient to re- 
member that neither can do without the other, nor can 
either do the work of the other. 

In trying to set forth the relations of Pestalozzi and 
his work to the spirit of the age in which he lived, we 
shall take it as true that every great popular movement 
in favour of educational progress has been chiefly based 
on political and social grounds. It has ever been the 
general aim to consider how to make a man a good 
citizen rather than a good man ; though, of course, the 
latter effect could never be wholly ignored, and has 
always been most clearly recognised by the clearest 
thinkers and the best intentioned workers. Neverthe- 
less, one is inclined to say that, as a rule, educational 
progress has been the result of the slow growth of a 
conviction that it pays better to have men rather than 
beasts of burden as citizens. The movement towards 
the social and intdlectual emancipation of *' the lower 


orders " has always received its most powerful stimulus 
'from the efforts of the great thinkers and philanthropists 
of their times, and from the consequences of the in- 
tolerable sufferings and oppressions heaped upon the 
victims of ignorance and greed, i.e.^ " the lower orders " — 
which they in fact were, thanks to the treatment they 

It is a happy dispensation that in the nature of things 
the struggles — in their own interests only, in the first 
instance — for progress of those at the top of the social 
scale inevitably bring, in the long run, great good to 
those at the bottom. The growth of political power 
(in modern times), and with it the increase of educa- 
tional and social advantages, has been downwards from 
kings to the aristocracy ; the aristocracy to the middle 
classes ; middle classes to the democracy. During the 
life of Pestalozzi one of the greatest political and social 
revolutions in European history reached its climax. 
Professor H. Morse Stephens writing on the period 
1789-1815 entitles his book Revolutionary Europe. This 
revolution was really the outcome of an intellectual 

With the revival of learning (1453) — the Renaissance 
— there had come what may be called the democracy of 
ideas. Learning was no longer the monopoly of a class, 
but was open to all who had sufficient ability, leisure 
and means. And there was such a high and noble 
enthusiasm for " knowledge for its own sake " that we 
find the more generous souls desired that all, even the 
poorest, should partake of it. Erasmus (1467-1536) 
wished that the Scriptures should ^be translated into 
every language and given to all : " I wish that the weak- 
est woman might read the Gospels and the Epistles 


of St. Paul. ... I long for the day when the husband- 
man shall sing portions of them to himself as he 
follows the plough, when the weaver shall hum them 
to the tune of his shuttle, when the traveller shall 
while away with their stories the weariness of his 

The printing press (1438) — the very deus ex machina 
of intellectual democracy — soon did for knowledge what 
steam has done for trade : reduced time and distance 
to their lowest terms in the intellectual commerce of 
the people. Men no longer had to make long and weary 
pilgrimages to the homes of learning: knowledge was 
brought to their very doors. Often with less trouble 
than was taken, formerly, to teach one pupil by the 
voice, a teacher now taught thousands by the pen. 
Little wonder therefore that old things began to pass 
away and all things to become new. In the cultiva- 
tion of ideas men discovered themselves, so to say, and 
were no longer content to be the shadows and echoes 
of the few in high places. They sought first to deliver 
themselves from bondage and then to enter into posses- 
sion of their own. This movement, which in the religi- 
ous world led to the Reformation, in the political and 
social world led to the advent of democratic forms of 
government, and the spread of education. 

Hobbes (1588-1679), the great English philosopher, 
may be said to have started the political revolution from 
the intellectual standpoint. He had endeavoured to 
find the rational bases of social and political institutions 
in Leviathan; and, in so doing, had founded a school 
of thought which was to change the whole order of 
things political in Europe. The central idea of his 
political theory was that the State is based upon a 


voluntary covenant between those composing it, in 
which they give up more or less of their individual 
rights and powers in order to gain the advantages of 
collective protection and progress. They, therefore, 
establish a supreme authority ; but still keep the power 
to resume their natural rights, if this authority fails to 
secure for them what they have a right to expect. 
Although Hobbes himself entirely believed in, and up- 
held, the monarchical form of this supreme authority, 
other great thinkers, such as Hooker, Locke and Syd- 
ney, modified and expanded the principle — which was 
known as that of Social Contract. Locke (1632-1704) 
in his Treatise 07t Civil Government developed from this 
principle the theory of constitutional government, based 
on such grounds as : all men are originally free and 
equal ; all should assist and help each other ; all the 
goods of the earth are common to all, in the first 
instance ; only personal labour can give any right of 
"private property," and only in so far as there is 
*' enough and as good left in common for others ". 

The principles of liberty of thought, personal free- 
dom and individual responsibility were becoming the 
commonplaces of philosophy — and even philosophy had 
become democratised ; for just as the great religious 
reformers insisted that the Bible should be translated 
into the speech of the people, so philosophers had begun 
to write in a style which appealed to the average man. 
Such great thinkers and writers as Voltaire, Montesquieu, 
Rousseau, Spinoza, Liebnitz, Kant, Hume and others, 
all contributed, by their writings, to the intellectual 
revolution in Europe. 

All this led to the ever-increasing belief that it was 
through human reason that the Divine Will and its 


laws were expressed ; and, therefore, that man himself 
was the originator and founder of laws and institutions, 
and was their master, not their slave. Whilst, during 
the greater part of the eighteenth century, it was held 
that government existed for the security and prosperity 
of the governed, yet it was also held that it could not 
be, and ought not to be, administered by the people. 
But this latter notion was being denied ; and the French 
Revolution was the articulate declaration of the belief 
in the sovereignty of the people, i.e., government of the 
people, for the people, and by the people. It must be 
remembered that, throughout the century, the majority 
of the peasants of Europe were, in effect, absolute serfs. 
They were compelled to give so much time to working 
for their lords that they had to cultivate their own land 
by moonlight. They were not allowed to leave their 
villages, or marry, without their lord's consent ; neither 
could any of them learn a trade without permission. 
They, therefore, were as the driest of dry tinder to the 
sparks of the intellectual revolution which fell upon 

Speaking of the political theories which were then 
" in the air," Mr. Lecky writes : " The true causes of 
their mighty influence are to be found in the conditioti 
of society. Formerly they had been advocated with a 
view to special political exigencies, or to a single country, 
or to a single section of society. For the first time, in 
the eighteenth century, they penetrated to the masses of 
the people, stirred them to their lowest depths, and 
produced an upheaving that was scarcely less general 
than that of the Reformation " {Rationalism in Europe), 
Thus, though monarchs had never done so much, as 
during this period, in the way of important civil re- 


forms, or been more earnest and zealous in promoting 
the well-being of the lower classes ; yet the'people were 
determined to abide by their own mistakes in self-gov- 
ernment, rather than endure their present disabilities 
and the dangers and risks of personal government — 
however benevolent. 

Such was what may be called the social and political 
atmosphere in Europe, in general ; whilst in Switzer- 
land, in particular, it was at one of its points of greatest 
intensity. Though there were far more freemen than 
bondmen amongst the peasants, yet they were obliged 
to fight for their rights against two great anti-popular 
influences in government, viz.^ '' Patriciates," and Guild 
government *' by divine right ". During the latter part 
of the sixteenth century, and onwards, in certain towns 
and states '' it tacitly became the rule that appoint- 
ments to positions in the councils should be held for 
life, or even hereditary ; in Lucerne, for instance, the 
son succeeded the father, and the brother the brother. 
But when the end could not be attained lawfully, unlawful 
means, such as bribery, were brought to bear. Thus 
the burghers separated themselves into a distinct class, 
with the sole and hereditary right of governing the 
whole state. The road to government appointment was 
totally barred to all who were not by birth freemen of 
the city. ... A purely aristocratic system was gradu- 
ally formed, or as it was called (after a like system of 
Rome) a ' Patriciate '. In Fribourg, for instance, it 
was determined in 1627 to exclude all families who were 
not at that time within the pale of the council from 
holding any public offices ; a ' secret chamber ' of 
twenty-four members elected the great and small 
councils and all government officials, and completed 


itself; thus the poHtical rights were limited to only 
seventy-one families. . . . 

** From the end of the fifteenth century it became the 
rule in Zurich and Bern to consult the peasantry and 
advise w^ith them upon all important acts of govern- 
ment, such as the declaration of war, the conclusion 
of peace, alliances, taxes, etc. During the course of 
the sixteenth century, however, the idea gradually 
obtained that the authorities wielded the sword of pro- 
tection and punishment in God's name, and that the 
divine law required obedience from subjects in all 
cases ... so [they] tried to destroy the influence of 
the people, more especially after an exclusive ruling 
faction had arisen within the cities themselves " (Dr. 
Karl Dandliker, A Short History of Switzerland). The 
result of this was that there were constant revolts of 
the peasants. Such risings, being of small bodies in 
different localities, were easily put down and the ring- 
leaders severely punished. In 1653 the peasants made 
common cause with one another and rose in rebellion. 
This was known as the Peasants' War, and it ended 
in their complete overthrow. 

During the seventeenth century considerable material 
progress took place. " Outwardly considered, the aris- 
tocracy developed an appearance of no inconsiderable 
prosperity, especially in administration. The general 
conditions and necessities of the time led to many useful 
institutions. ... In Bern, Zurich, Zug, Basel, and even 
in Soleure, Lucerne, Stanz, etc., public almshouses, hos- 
pitals, orphan asylums, improved houses of correction, 
etc., were established. The governments of Zurich, 
Bern, Basel and Zug made more extensive provision 
than formerly for scholastic institutions, scientific col- 


lections and libraries, for commerce and industry. . . . 
The authorities of the various states vied with one 
another in their efforts to further the material welfare of 
their subjects, in 'fatherly' fashion; to support them 
in times of misfortune, of bad harvests, of famine, etc., 
and to check beggary, pauperism and such-like by 
numerous mandates. Viewed externally, many parts of 
Switzerland presented a more cheering appearance 
than the numerous provinces of other lands, mostly 
depopulated and devastated by war. . . . 

" Once more for every ray of light there was a shadow ; 
narrow-mindedness and bigotry reigned supreme, in a 
way which it is now hardly possible to conceive. . . . 
Higher schools were, indeed, provided, but on the other 
hand hardly anything was done towards educating the 
people. The teachers in the popular schools were 
ignorant artisans, discharged soldiers, or uneducated 
youths ; the education consisted merely in learning 
mechanically by rote, and without understanding, re- 
ligious matter out of the catechism and various devotional 
books. By this means ignorance was systematically 
cultivated, and the mind of the people was stifled rather 
than awakened. Intellectual life was entirely under the 
control of the authorities, secular and religious ; it was 
feared that a liberal education might open the eyes of 
the people. Writings which displeased the authorities, 
even innocent poems and popular songs, were unhesi- 
tatingly suppressed ; everything had to undergo the 
censorship of severe masters " (Dr. K. Dandliker). 

With the increased opportunities for the education of 
the middle classes came that progress in ideas which 
invariably precedes all great popular movements. 
Albrecht von Haller roused patriotic discontent with 


existing conditions, and a longing for better things, 
with his poems The Alps, The Man of the World, and 
Demoralisation. Young J. C. Lavater, of Zurich, com- 
posed his Swiss Songs, in which he calls for unity in 
the cause of national well-being. The songs soon be- 
came the " songs of the people," being sung by men 
and women, old and young, throughout the country. 
Salomon Gessner, of Zurich, wrote Idylls, which were 
very popular ; and in which he sang the joys of coun- 
try life. Franz Urs Balthasar, of Lucerne, published 
(1758) a work called The Patriotic Dreams of a Confederate 
of a way to make young again the old Confederation, in 
which he urges the founding of a national Swiss insti- 
tute, in which the children of the aristocrats should be 
educated in such a way that they would become good 
citizens and capable politicians. Amongst other subjects, 
history, politics and military science were to be taught. 
Professor Bodmer, of Zurich, aroused an interest in 
literature, amongst scholars and readers, by his publica- 
tions and controversies with German writers. Societies 
for artists, musicians, naturalists, farmers, etc. ; benefit 
societies ; reading clubs, etc., were formed. Printing 
presses became common and many books, magazines, 
newspapers and pamphlets were published. Johann 
von Miiller, of Schaffhausen, pubHshed (1780) the first 
popular history of the Swiss. The country was a 
meeting place for many of the great men of the day. 
Voltaire, Ferney and Gibbon spent much time to- 
gether at Lausanne ; whilst Klopstock, Wieland, Kleist, 
Goethe, Fichte and other great German writers 
often stayed at Zurich. No wonder that to people 
suffering so much political and social oppression and 
repression, and yet just beginning to enter into in- 


tellectual liberty and life, the political pamphlets and 
books (from France and England) which preached the 
sovereignty of the people, and the liberty of man, met 
with a hearty welcome. Above all, that famous and 
epoch-making work by Rousseau, Contrat Social (pub- 
lished 1744), had a profound effect upon the reformers. 
With all its glowing eloquence ; its human sympathy ; 
its clear-cut and apparently conclusive arguments ; its 
dogmatic definiteness ; and, first and foremost, its fit- 
ness as argument — however specious and superficial 
even as special pleading — for their purpose ; this book 
came as an inspired revelation to the minds of its 

As Mr. John Morley says, in his work on Rousseau, 
in spite of its " shallowness [and] practical mischievous- 
ness ... it was the match which kindled revolutionary 
fire in generous breasts throughout Europe. . . . His 
theory made the native land what it had been to the 
citizens of earlier date, a true centre of existence, round 
which all the interests of the community, all its pursuits, 
all its hopes, grouped themselves with entire singleness 
of convergence, just as a religious faith is the centre of 
existence to a church." Further, it added to this "the 
cardinal service of rekindling the fire of patriotism, the 
rapid deduction from the doctrine of the sovereignty of 
peoples of the great truth, that a nation with a civilised 
polity does not consist of an order or a caste, but of the 
great body of its members, the army of toilers who make 
the most painful of the sacrifices that are needed for 
the continuous nutrition of the social organisation. As 
Condorcet put it, and he drew inspiration partly from 
the intellectual school of Voltaire, and partly from the 
social school of Rousseau, all institutions ought to 


have for their aim the physical, intellectual and moral 
amelioration of the poorest and most numerous class. 
This is the People." 

Commencing with a sentence, '* Man is born free, 
and everywhere he is in chains " — which must have 
thrilled the heart of every reformer — Rousseau professes 
to prove to demonstration (in the Contrat Social) the 
following principles : — (i) A society, community, or 
state is the outcome of a social compact by which 
men, freely and voluntarily, bind themselves to obey 
" the general will " : " Each of us puts his person and 
all his powers under the sovereign direction of the 
general will ; and we receive every member as an in- 
separable part of the whole ". This is for the purpose 
of defending and protecting the person and property of 
each. (2) The body thus formed is the sovereign power 
— the sovereign and the body politic are one and the same 
thing. Every member is a citizen in that he is a part of 
the sovereign power, and a subject in that he owes 
obedience to the laws made by, or through, the sovereign 
power. (3) The sovereign power is inalienable and 
indivisible, i.e., the sovereign power itself is not subject 
to the laws it makes ; and the sovereign power cannot 
exercise its legislative functions through one body and 
its executive powers through another. (4) The general 
will of the sovereign power in regard to a matter of 
common interest is expressed in a law. Laws, there- 
fore, cannot be made through any kind of representative 
institution, since only the sovereign power (the whole 
community) can possess the law-making power (the 
general will). (5) All governmental machinery con- 
stitutes the agents and go-betweens of the sovereign 
power as a whole and its members as the parts ; to the 


end that civil and political freedom for each and all 
may be properly maintained. The government may be 
a monarchy, i.e., when there is one magistrate from 
whom all the rest hold their authority ; an aristocracy, 
i.e., when there are more simple citizens than magis- 
trates ; or a democracy, i.e., when there are more citizen 
magistrates than private citizens. (6) The sovereign 
power should establish a purely civil profession of 
religious faith, consisting of a belief in God : a future 
state: happiness of the righteous and punishment of 
the wicked : the sanctity of the social contract and the 

Such is a brief and bald outline of the theory of the 
Contrat Social, the book which was one of the more 
immediate causes of the French Revolution, and which 
had such a powerful influence upon its Swiss readers 
that, in 1762, the government of Geneva caused a copy 
of it to be publicly burnt. Pestalozzi has put on record 
that he was himself greatly influenced by the reading 
of the book ; and his own political wTitings plainly show 
this. He, like other good patriots, did everything pos- 
sible to bring about a better state of things. 

The new spirit of national, as against state, patriotism 
which was fast spreading found active expression in 
and through the founding, in 1762, of the Helvetic Society. 
This was largely due to the influence of Balthasar's 
book ; and the society consisted of such zealous patriots 
as Gessner, Hirzel and Iselin. Pestalozzi appears to 
have been one of the earliest, if not one of the original 
members. Both Catholics and Protestants worked to- 
gether in this society. Soon all the most famous men 
of both French and German Switzerland attended its 
annual meetings; at which patriotism and national- 


ism were fostered : corruption and extortion in public 
life criticised and exposed : the moral improvement of 
individual life urged : and the reform of education and 
civic government advocated. The society offered prizes 
for plans for the improvement of the educational system 
of the country. It gave active encouragement to Dr. 
Planta, who had started in 1761 a school, at Halden- 
stein, on the lines of the Philanthropinists — who sought 
to carry out Rousseau's principle of things instead of 
words in teaching — through the sciences which helped 
most frequently in the affairs of daily life. Dr. Planta 
also sought to train his pupils in human fraternity, 
patriotism and religious toleration. Many distinguished 
men, who took foremost parts in the national reforms, 
were educated in this school. 

Meantime political struggles and revolts continued. 
In one or two towns and cantons the artisans and 
peasants succeeded in regaining some of their old rights 
and privileges ; but in most cases all political agitations 
and revolts were put down with an iron hand, and 
many paid for their discontent with their lives. But 
the people caught the fever of the French Revolution, 
and, in 1798, the inhabitants of Pays de Vaud rose in 
rebellion against the authority of the canton of Bern. 
This rising led to others, and the peasants set to work 
to overthrow the conditions of feudalism, and declared 
themselves in favour of ''liberty, equality and fra- 
ternity ". Their leaders appealed to France for aid. 
This was given, with the result that, in 1798, thirteen 
states were federated, and put under a representative 
democracy. The government consisted of two cham- 
bers : a senate and a greater council ; the executive was 
a directory of ftve members and four ministers; and 


the judiciary was a high court. Lucerne was made the 

One of the clauses of the new Helvetic Constitution 
declared that education was the chief foundation of the 
public welfare, and in itself of more value than mere 
wealth. M. Albrecht Stapfer (of Brugg) — a man of en- 
lightened views — was appointed Minister of Arts and 
Sciences, and at once drew up an admirable scheme for 
educational reform ; he himself holding that "spiritual 
and intellectual freedom alone makes free". All the 
cantons were to send him reports on their schools and 
education, with suggestions for improvement. Federal 
regulations were drawn up to secure a council of educa- 
tion (seven members) in the chief town of each canton ; 
a commissioner or inspector of schools ; and a training 
college for teachers in each canton. He also provided 
for the building of grammar-schools; proposed the 
founding of a Swiss university ; arranged for the es- 
tabHshment of a Swiss Society of Arts ; did all he could 
to encourage the formation of literary societies ; and 
endeavoured to preserve, and make public, monastic 
libraries and collections. He was always the friend of 
Pestalozzi and did much to help him. 

Another man who did much for education at this time 
was Pere Girard (1765-1850) of Fribourg. In 17981 he 
published a Scheme for Education for all Helvetia, which 
he addressed to M. Stapfer. Seven years later he was 
appointed as head of the primary school at Fribourg. 
Here he did a great work, basing his work upon the 
theory that '* the only, the real people's school, is that 
in which all the elements of study serve for the culture 
of the soul, and in which the child grows better by the 
things which he learns and by the manner in which he 


learns them ". All his school work centred round the 
teaching of the mother-tongue, through which he 
taught grammar (through lessons on things), logic, 
ideas and literature. He set out his system in the 
Educative Course in the Mother Tongue. Girard, like 
Pestalozzi, was one of the educational reformers. 

There was also Emmanuel de Fellenberg (1775-1846), 
a man of noble birth and exalted character, who, after 
holding high public offices and mixing much with the 
people and their rulers, became convinced — through 
reading Pestalozzi's Leonard and Gertrude — that only 
by improvement in early education could the character 
of a people be made such that national greatness could 
be secured. He thereupon consecrated himself and his 
fortune to education ; being then thirty-one years of 
age. His first step was to undertake the education of 
his own children, with a few boys from abroad, at his 
own house, on his estate at Hofwyl. Gradually he 
increased the number of pupils ; but only by twos and 
threes so that the general working should not be much 
disturbed. These pupils were all of the patrician class. 

Two years later, 1807, he set up a *' Poor School " or 
*' Agricultural Institution " for destitute children. The 
farm-house was used as a school, and Vehrli, the son of 
a schoolmaster of Thurgovia, was specially trained by 
Fellenberg (in his own house) to take charge of the 
institution. The aim was to use agriculture as a means 
of moral training for the poor ; and to make the institu- 
tion thereby self-supporting. Vehrli left the table of 
Fellenberg to share the straw beds and vegetable diet 
of these poor scholars ; to be their fellow labourer on the 
farm ; to join with them as a play-fellow in their games ; 
and to be their teacher. 


In 1823 a school for poor girls was built in the 
garden of the mansion ; and Fellenberg's eldest daughter 
took charge of it. Four years after (1827) another de- 
velopment took place ; an intermediate school, or 
" Practical Institution," was established. This was 
for the children of the middle classes in Switzerland. 
The pupils belonged to the families of men of business, 
mechanics and professional men ; and they were taught 
such subjects as were thought necessary for those who 
were not intended for the professions of law, medicine 
and theology. Buildings, furniture, diet and dress 
were such as the pupils had been used to at home. 
Two hours each day were given to manual labour on 
the farm ; to gardening on a plot of their own ; to work 
in the mechanic's shop ; and in household work, such 
as taking care of rooms, books and tools. 

Fellenberg has given his view of the aim of education 
in these words: "The great object of education is to 
develop all the faculties of our nature, physical, intel- 
lectual and moral, and to endeavour to train and unite 
them into one harmonious system, which shall form 
the most perfect character of which the individual is 
susceptible ; and thus prepare him for every period and 
every sphere of action to which he may be called ". 

His work attracted the attention of educators and 
statesmen in Switzerland and throughout Europe. 
Pupils were sent to him from Russia, Germany, France 
and England. Deputations from foreign Governments, 
and private individuals, visited Hofwyl to study the 
methods and organisation employed. 

Such was the spirit of the times — so far as so brief 
an outline can suggest it — in which Pestalozzi lived 
and worked. How far it formed him and how far he 



influenced it can be, in some measure, estimated when 
his Hfe and work have been considered. But we shall 
understand each better in proportion as we know both. 
It is worth while to note what was taking place 
in other countries, in educational matters, during Pes- 
talozzi's lifetime. Bell (1753-1832), Lancaster (1778- 
1838), Robert Owen (1771-1858), Samuel Wilderspin 
(1792-1866) and Miss Edgeworth (1767-1849) were do- 
ing their work in Britain ; Jacotot (1770-1840), Madame 
Necker de Saussure (1765-1841), Condorcet (1743-94) 
were working in France; and Basedow (1723-90), 
Oberlin (1740-1826) and Froebel (1782-1852) in Ger- 

The thought and work of such reformers in education 
brought about the greatest possible changes in the 
schools. They may be said to have done for educa- 
tion what Bacon, Descartes, Locke and others did for 
philosophy : they changed its main purpose from a theo- 
logical and religious one to an intellectual and rational. 
For the appeal to authority and tradition was substituted 
an appeal to science and experiment. Rabelais and 
Montaigne had done much to prepare the way for Rous- 
seau ; whilst Pestalozzi did more than any man before 
his time to put the best ideas into practical form. In all 
spheres of thought the principle of following Nature and 
Reason was beginning to become predominant at this 
period, and it was applied, for the first time, to education. 
Men were freeing themselves from the bondage of verbal- 
ism and entering into the full freedom of realism, both 
in thought and action. 



John Henry Pestalozzi was born at Zurich on the 
I2th of January, 1746. His father was a doctor, an 
able man, but one who had not the art, or the will, 
for achieving practical success in life. He died when 
Pestalozzi was only six years of age, and left the 
family in very straitened circumstances. The widow, 
with her two boys and a girl, was helped by members 
of the Pestalozzi family, and managed, thanks to this 
help and the cheapness of the best schooling in Zurich, to 
give her children a good education. In all her domestic 
trials and struggles she was most loyally and devotedly 
supported by a faithful servant named Babeli. When 
on his deathbed Pestalozzi's father had sent for this 
girl, in whom he must have had the greatest confidence 
and trust, and said to her : " Babeli, for the sake 
of God and mercy, do not leave my wife ; when I am 
dead she will be forlorn, and my children will fall into 
strange and cruel hands ". Babeli replied : " I will 
not leave your wife when you die ; I will remain with 
her till death, if she has need of me ". This promise 
she fulfilled to the letter. 

Not only did she sternly second the mother's strict 
economies, but she did everything she could to nourish 
in the mind of her young master that feeling of honest 

19 2 * 


independence which prevailed in those days almost with 
the intensity of a passion. On this point she would 
thus address him : '' Never, never has a Pestalozzi 
eaten the bread of private compassion since Zurich was 
a city. Submit to any privation rather than dishonour 
your family. Look at those children (she would say as 
the poor orphans of Zurich passed the windows), how 
unfortunate would you be were it not for a tender 
mother, who denies herself every comfort that you may 
not become a pauper." She would often keep the chil- 
dren indoors when they wished to go out, saying to 
them : '' Why will you needlessly wear out your shoes 
and clothes ? See how much your mother denies herself 
in order to be able to give you an education ; how for 
weeks and months she never goes out anywhere, but 
saves every farthing for your schooling." Their mother 
was, however, liberal in spending on such things as 
were needed to keep up their social position ; the 
children had handsome Sunday clothes, but they had to 
take them off immediately they returned to the house. 

The tender, affectionate and self-sacrificing mother, 
and the faithful and sturdy maid devoted themselves 
wholly to the good of the children. But this loving 
devotion was not without its drawbacks for Pestalozzi. 
As he himself says : " I was brought up by the hand 
of the best of mothers like a spoilt darling, such that 
you will not easily find a greater. From one year to 
another I never left the domestic hearth ; in short, all 
the essential means and inducements to the develop- 
ment of manly vigour, manly experience, manly ways 
of thinking, and manly exercises were just as much 
wanting to me as, from the peculiarity and weakness of 
my temperament, I especially needed them." As one 


of his biographers, Dr. Biber, remarks : " The influ- 
ence which he enjoyed at home operated powerfully 
upon the growth of his feelings and, in the absence of 
an equally efficacious cultivation of his intellect, gave 
to his character that intense energy, uncontrolled by 
clearness of judgment, which, while it prepared for him 
many a grievous disappointment in the long course of 
his philanthropic career, gave also to his soul that un- 
abated elasticity to rise, after every downfall, with re- 
novated strength ". 

He was first sent to a day-school, then to a grammar- 
school, where he was kept under the bondage of rigorous 
discipline and uninteresting tasks, and finally he passed 
to a college where youths received due preparation for 
the learned professions. It is not surprising, in view of 
what we are told of his home training, to find him 
writing of his early school-days thus : " In all boys' 
games I was the most clumsy and helpless among all 
my fellow scholars, and nevertheless, in a certain way, 
I always wanted to excel the others. This caused some 
of them very frequently to pass their jokes upon me. 
One of them gave me the nickname ' Harry Oddity of 
Foolstown '. Most of them, however, liked my good- 
natured and obliging disposition, though they knew my 
general clumsiness and awkwardness, as well as my 
carelessness and thoughtlessness, in everything that did 
not particularly interest me. 

"Accordingly, although one of the best pupils, I 
nevertheless committed with incomprehensible thought- 
lessness faults of which not even the worst of them was 
ever guilty. While, I generally seized with quickness 
and accuracy upon the essential matter of the subjects 
gf instruction^ I was very generally indifferent and 


thoughtless as to the forms in which it was given. At 
the same time that I was far behind my fellow scholars 
in some parts of a subject, in other parts of the same 
subject I often surpassed them in an unusual degree. . . . 
The wish to be acquainted with some branches of know- 
ledge that took hold on my heart and my imagination, 
even though I neglected the means of acquiring them, 
was nevertheless enthusiastically alive within me ; and, 
unfortunately, the tone of public instruction in my 
native town at this period was in a high degree calculated 
to foster this visionary fancy of taking an active interest 
in, and believing oneself capable of the practice of things 
in which one had by no means had sufficient exercise, 
and this fancy was very prevalent among the youth of 
my native town generally." 

Though he seldom, because of a want of inclination 
and physical capacity, joined in the games and pursuits 
of his fellows, yet he did not withdraw himself from his 
schoolmates in any morose or selfish spirit. He was 
always frank, kind-hearted and willing to be helpful, 
though he was the butt for boyish jokes. Indeed, on 
one occasion at least his courage and comradeship 
proved superior to that of the others. In the severe 
earthquake of 1755 the school-house in which he was 
taught was severely shaken. A panic was caused and 
the teachers and scholars rushed out of the school, the 
former ''almost over the heads of their boys". After 
they had recovered from their first terror they wished to 
obtain the books, hats and other property which they 
had left behind ; but being unwilling to venture into the 
building they persuaded " Harry Oddity " to undertake 
the task. 

When he was nine years old he began to pay an 


annual holiday visit to his grandfather, who was pastor 
of Hongg, in the canton of Zurich. These visits lasted 
for several months each year, and doubtless had some 
influence in moulding the lad's character and determin- 
ing his views, for his grandfather was an excelle^it type 
of village pastor. He took the closest interest in every- 
thing that concerned the welfare of his flock, and more 
especially in the village school. Pestalozzi would, dur- 
ing his visits, see a good deal of the sufferings of the 
poor, and of the good which a benevolent and zealous 
helper could do amongst them. Of his grandfather's 
school he writes, in his last years : " His school, how- 
ever defective it might be in point of method, was in 
living connection with the moral life and the home 
education of the people, and this combined education 
cultivated successfully and thoroughly the practice of 
habits of attention, obedience, industry and effort ; in 
short, laid the fundamental foundations of education '' 
(Swan's Song). 

Doubtless he would see many other schools in his 
early years ; and they must have influenced his mind very 
much. One writer thus describes the ordinary Swiss 
school of those days: "The instruction was generally 
given in the schoolmaster's only living room, while his 
family were carrying on their household avocations. In 
places where there were schoolrooms, they were never 
large enough to provide sufficient space for all the 
children to sit down. The rooms were low and dark, 
and when the door was opened the oppressive fumes of 
a hot and vitiated atmosphere met the visitor ; closely 
crammed together sat the children, to the ruin of their 
health, breathing in the foul and heated vapours. The 
stoves, too, were generally overheated, and the closed 


windows were darkened by the steam from the breath 
of so many human beings ; so crowded together were 
they, that if one wished to leave or return to his place, 
he must climb over chairs and tables to do so. 

** The noise was deafening ; the schoolmaster had little 
authority over his pupils ; there was no fixed age at which 
children were either sent or withdrawn ; parents would 
frequently send them at four or five, and take them away 
as soon as they could earn any money, generally in 
their eighth or ninth year. The instruction was bad and 
irregular. A child who could say the whole catechism 
through was considered clever, but one who could repeat 
the iigth Psalm and a few chapters of the Bible by heart, 
was looked upon as a real marvel. The more that could 
be said by rote, the greater pleased were the parents" (F. 
E. Cooke, Guiding Lights'). 

Morf, a biographer of Pestalozzi, collected informa- 
tion about the teachers and schools of Pestalozzi's times. 
The teachers were very ignorant, often poor working 
men who kept school to increase their small earnings in 
other occupations. Of the schools Morf says : ''We find 
hardly any trace of a proper schoolroom. The choice of 
a teacher often depended, not on his ability, but on his 
having a room — his family remained in it and carried 
on their domestic duties during school hours. Often 
neighbours brought their spinning wheels, finding more 
warmth and entertainment than at home. . . . 

'* Reading and learning by heart were the pupils' only 
tasks. The big ones were learning aloud, so there was 
a constant hubbub in the school. Class teaching was 
not thought of." 

Of the way in which schoolmasters were appointed, 
Kriisi, Pestalozzi's first assistant, gives a very interesting 


account. Kriisi, as a lad and when a young man, earned 
his living by travelling about the country buying and 
selling small wares. One summer day as he was cross- 
ing a mountain, carrying a heavy load of thread, he met 
M. Gruber, the State Treasurer, and this conversation 
took place : — 

*' ' It's very hot, Hermann,' " said Kriisi. 

" ' Yes, very hot.' 

** ' As Hoerlin, the schoolmaster, is leaving Gais you 
might perhaps earn your living less laboriously. Would 
you not like to try for this post ? ' 

'' ' It is not simply a question of what I would like : 
a schoolmaster ought to have knowledge of matters of 
which I am wholly ignorant.' 

" ' You could easily learn, at your age, all that a school- 
master there ought to know.' 

'' ' But where and how ? I do not see any possibility 
of this.' 

" ' If you have any inclination for it, the way can easily 
be found. Think about it, and do not delay.' 

" Upon this he left me. 

'' I considered and reflected, but no light seemed to 
come to me. However I rapidly descended the moun- 
tain hardly feeling the weight of my load. 

*' My friend Sonderegger procured a single specimen 
of writing, done by a skilful penman of Altstatten, and 
I copied it over a hundred times. This was my only pre- 
paration. Nevertheless, I sent in my name, but with 
little hope of success. 

''There were only two candidates. The chief test 
consisted in writing out the Lord's Prayer, which I did 
with all the care of which I was capable. 

" I had carefully noticed that capitals were used here 


and there, but as I was ignorant of the rule I had taken 
them for ornament. Accordingly I distributed mine in a 
symmetrical manner, with the result that some came in 
the very middle of words. As a matter of fact neither 
of us knew anything. 

" When the examination was over, I was sent for and 
Captain Schgepfer announced to me that the examiners 
had found us both very weak ; that my competitor could 
read the better, but that I was the better writer ; that 
as I was only eighteen years old, while the other was 
forty, I should be better able to acquire the necessary 
knowledge ; that, moreover, my room, being bigger than 
that of the other applicant, was more suitable for a 
schoolroom ; and, in short, I was nominated to the 
vacant post." So Kriisi's room was cleared of some old 
furniture, and a hundred children were put into it. This 
was in 1793. 

While at college Pestalozzi came under the teach- 
ing of men who exercised a great influence upon him, 
viz., Bodmer, the Professor of History, and Breitinger, 
the Professor of Greek and Hebrew; and he had as 
his contemporaries Lavater, Iselin, the Eschers and 
others whose names are connected with the national 
history of this period. Of the teaching he says : " In- 
dependence, freedom, beneficence, self-sacrifice and pa- 
triotism were the watchwords of our public education. 
But the means of attaining all this which was par- 
ticularly commended to us — mental distinction — was left 
without solid and sufficient training of the practical 
ability which is its essential condition. 

" We were taught, in a visionary manner, to seek for 
independence in an abstract acquaintance with truth, 
without being made to feel strongly what was essentially 


necessary to the security both of our inward and of our 
outward domestic and civil independence. The tone 
of the instruction which we received led us, with much 
vivacity and many attractive representations, to be so 
short-sighted and inconsiderate as to set little value 
upon, and almost to despise, the external means of 
wealth, honour and consideration. This was carried 
to such an extent that we imagined, while we were yet 
in the condition of boys, that, by a superficial school- 
acquaintance with the great civil life of Greece and 
Rome, we could eminently prepare ourselves for the 
little civil life in one of the Swiss cantons." 

During his college course, and when only fifteen years 
of age, he joined a branch of the Helvetic Society, which 
had been started by Lavater, and had amongst its 
m.embers such men as Schinz, Fiissli and Escher. The 
aim of these young men was to begin immediate reforms 
in the territory of Zurich ; and to support the down- 
trodden and poor in their demands for the extension of 
the rights of the people. The society met weekly, and 
chiefly occupied itself in debating Rousseau's political 
ideas. But they by no means confined themselves to 
talk. They founded a weekly journal called Der Erin- 
nerer, in 1765, wherein they gave publicity to their 
views ; and did not hesitate to attack, in the most 
frank and fearless manner, public abuses, dishonest and 
tyrannical ofiicials, worthless ministers, and any person 
or practice which seemed to them to stand in need of 

Pestalozzi, then only nineteen years of age, wrote 
articles for this magazine. Amongst* other ideas he 
expressed in this paper were the following : '' A young 
man who plays such a small part in his country as I 


do, has no right to criticise, or to suggest improve- 
ments ; at least people tell me this nearly every da)^ of 
my life. But at any rate I may be allowed to express 
my wishes . . . that no eminent man may think it 
beneath his dignity to work with untiring courage for 
the public good ; that no one may look down with con- 
tempt on his fellow-creatures of inferior station, if they 
are really faithful and industrious men . . . that some- 
one may publish a little collection of the principles 
of education, sound and simple, so that the average 
townsman, or the average countryman, could understand 
them ; and that some generous individuals would dis- 
tribute this little book free of charge, or at the price of 
a half-penny, so that all the clergy both in town and 
country might circulate and recommend it ; and finally, 
that all parents who read it, might act in accordance 
with such wise rules of Christian education." The 
ardent spirits who thus criticised their pastors and 
masters soon got into trouble. The paper was sup- 
pressed ; one young theologian had to flee from Zurich ; 
and Pestalozzi was arrested, with several others, and 
condemned to pay the costs of an action. 

Of the actual influence of Rousseau's writings upon 
himself Pestalozzi says: "The moment Rousseau's 
Entile appeared, my visionary and highly speculative 
mind was enthusiastically seized by this visionary and 
highly speculative book. I compared the education 
which I enjoyed in the corner of my mother's parlour, 
and also in the school which I frequented, with what 
Rousseau demanded for the education of his Emilius. 
The home as well as the public education of the whole 
world, and of all ranks of society, appeared to me alto- 
gether as a crippled thing, which was to find a universal 


remedy for its present pitiful condition in Rousseau's 
lofty ideas. The ideal system of liberty, also, to which 
Rousseau imparted fresh animation, increased in me the 
visionary desire for a more extended sphere of activity, 
in which I might promote the vv^elfare and happiness of 
the people. Juvenile ideas as to what it v^as necessary 
and possible to do in this respect in my native town, 
induced me to abandon the clerical profession, to which 
I had formerly leaned, and for which I had been de- 
stined, and caused the thought to spring up vv^ithin me, 
that it might be possible, by the study of law, to find a 
career that would be likely to procure for me, sooner or 
later, the opportunity and means of exerting an active 
influence on the civil condition of my native town, and 
even of my native land." 

One writer (Henning) says that Pestalozzi once told 
him that his heart was so filled, in his youth, with 
enthusiasm for patriotism and zeal for the rights of the 
oppressed, that he earnestly strove to think out any 
and every means of deliverance for the poor and down- 
trodden ; and so desperate was he for something effectual 
to be done, that he might easily have become persuaded 
that the killing of despots was no murder. Fortunately 
he was content to try more sensible and successful 

No doubt his resolve to forego the ministry was, to 
some extent at least, due to the fact that on his ap- 
pearance as a candidate he was unable to say the Lord's 
Prayer correctly, and broke down three times in his 
sermon. In his study of law he seems to have followed 
the characteristic bent of his mind and character, and 
was more concerned to learn of the principles and 
methods of good government than the way to win cases. 


This is shown by an essay on the constitution of Sparta 
and a translation of some of Demosthenes' orations, 
which he published at the time ; and which also show 
his thoroughness in research and his proficiency in 
classical learning. 

The more he got to know of the highest ideals of 
those principles of freedom and justice which should 
control individual and national life, the more clearly he 
saw the shortcomings and evils of the life around him. 
He saw that the education and training, both at school 
and in practical life, of those who filled the highest 
offices — ^judges, ministers and public officials of all 
kinds — were quite unsuited to fit them for their work ; 
and that the corruption and fraud which arose chiefly 
from their incompetence degraded and despoiled the 
common people. He expressed his views in an essay 
on the relation which education ought to bear to the 
various professions and callings. This was published 
while he was still a student at law. 

He appears to have written a good deal on various 
subjects dealing with law and politics ; and he also 
collected extensive materials for a book on the history 
of law and politics in Switzerland. Hard and unre- 
mitting study, and the mental stress of his intellectual 
struggles proved too much for his constitution, already 
impaired by the excessive demands he had made upon 
it by reason of the zeal and intensity with which he 
took up and carried out his ideas. Among other things 
he had thrown himself whole-heartedly into the general 
enthusiasm of the reformers for the revival of agriculture 
as a means for the salvation of the poor, and the remedy 
for all evils. Stirred by the teachings of Bodmer and 
the writings of Rousseau, many of the best students in 


the college learnt farming and practised the simple life. 
Writing to a friend, in the autumn of 1765, Bodmer says 
of them: ''they have already learned to mow, and to 
bear heat, perspiration and rain with the peasants ". 

Pestalozzi is said to have practised vegetarianism ; to 
have slept, unclothed, on the floor of his room ; and even 
to have whipped himself till he bled, to fit himself to 
undergo any suffering that might be necessary. Little 
wonder that he became seriously ill, and exhausted in 
body and mind. 



Advised by his doctor to give up study for a time and to 
recuperate in the country ; and inspired by Rousseau to 
return to the life of nature ; Pestalozzi renounced the 
study of books for ever, committed all his manuscripts 
to the flames, and took to farming. He went to Kirch- 
berg, in the canton of Bern, and apprenticed himself 
to a farmer named Tschiffeli, a man who had a great 
reputation for his knowledge and skill in farming, and 
for his keen interest in the welfare of the farm workers. 
An out-door life, healthy and regular work, the quiet and 
calm of country life, peaceful meditation, and inter- 
course with nature and men of simple habits, soon 
restored him to sound health and to that childlike 
simplicity of thought and conduct which had distin- 
guished him as a boy. From Tschiffeli he learnt much. 
** I had come to him," he says, " a political visionary, 
though with many profound and correct attainments, 
views and prospects in political matters ; and I went 
away from him just as great an agricultural visionary, 
though with many enlarged and correct ideas and inten- 
tions in regard to agriculture. My stay with him only 
had this effect : that the gigantic views in relation to 
my exertions were awakened within me afresh by his 
agricultural plans, which, though difficult of execution, 



and in part impracticable, were bold and extensive ; and 
that at the same time they caused me, in my thought- 
lessness as to the means of carrying them out, to fall 
into a callousness the consequences of which contri- 
buted in a decisive manner to the pecuniary embarrass- 
ment into which I was plunged the very first years of 
my rural life." 

In 1767, at the age of twenty-two, he resolved to 
start a farm for himself. With a small legacy from his 
father and some capital advanced by a banker in Zurich, 
he bought about 100 acres of waste land near Birrfeld, 
in the canton of Argovie, not far from Zurich, and 
began to cultivate vegetables and madder. He called 
his place Neuhof, i.e., new farm. Two years later he 
married Anna Schulthess, a woman beautiful alike in 
character and person, and one who for fifty years adorned 
his triumphs as worthily as she bore his misfortunes 

During the year 1770 a son was born to them. This 
they esteemed the highest possible blessing, and the 
greatest possible responsibility. Pestalozzi appears to 
have tried to follow out Rousseau's ideas in the educa- 
tion of his boy, Jacobli ; and he kept a diary of his and 
the child's progress. Herein we see the first definite 
beginnings and developments of Pestalozzi's theories of 
education. A few extracts will show the general char- 
acter and tendency of his efforts : — 

''Jan. 27, 1774. —I drew his attention to some 
water which ran swiftly down a decline. He was de- 
lighted. I walked a little lower down, and he followed 
me, saying to the water : ' Wait a minute : I shall 
come back soon'. Shortly afterwards I took him to 
the bank of the same stream again ; and he exclaimed : 



' Look, the water comes down, too ; it runs from up 
there and goes down and down'. As we followed the 
course of the stream, I repeated several times to him : 
* Water flows from the top to the bottom of the hill '. 

" I told him the names of several animals, saying : 
' The dog, the cat, etc., are animals ; but your uncle, 
John, and Nicholas, are men.' I then asked him : 
' What is a cow, a sheep, the minister, a goat, your 
cousin ? ' etc. He answered rightly nearly every time, 
his wrong answers being accompanied by a sort of 
smile which suggested that he did not intend to answer 
properly. I think that behind this fun there must be a 
wish to show his independence of will. 

"Feb. I. — I taught him the Latin names for the 
various exterior parts of the head. By figures and ex- 
amples I taught him the meaning of words like inside, 
outside, below, above, amidst, beside, etc. I showed 
him how snow turned into water when brought indoors. 

" I found that teaching was made easier by changes of 
the voices, i.e., by speaking now loud, now soft, now on 
one note and then on another. But to what might this 
not lead ? 

" Feb. 2. — I tried to get him to understand the 
meaning of numbers. At present he knows their names, 
which he says by heart without attaching any exact 
meaning to them. To have a knowledge of words with 
no distinct ideas of the things they stand for immensely 
increases the difficulty of getting to know the truth. 
The most ignorant man would have been struck by this 
fact if he had been present at our lesson. The child 
had been so used to not associating any difference of 
meaning with the different names of numbers, that 
this had produced 'm him a habit of inattention which 


I have not been able to overcome in the slightest 

" Why have I been so foolish as to allow him to pro- 
nounce these important words without taking care to 
connect them, at the same time, with a clear idea of 
their meaning ? Would it not have been more natural 
never to make him say ' three,* before he thoroughly 
knew the number two in all possible examples ; is it 
not in this way that he ought to be taught to count ? 
Ah ! how much I have departed from the paths of 
nature in trying to forestall her teaching. O truths 
so important for wisdom and virtue ! teach me to be 
upon my guard ! 

" Allow yourself to be guided by the child's propensity 
for imitation. You have a stove in your room : draw 
it for him. Even if he should not succeed for a whole 
year in exactly tracing the four corners, at least he will 
have learned to sit still and to work. The comparison 
of mathematical figures and magnitudes is, at the same 
time, a pleasant matter, and an instruction in judgment. 
" Again, to have his own garden, and to get together 
therein all sorts of plants ; to collect butterflies and 
insects, and to make an orderly classification of them, 
with exactness and perseverance — what a preparation 
for social life ! What a safeguard against idleness and 
stupidity ! And how far all this is from our ordinary 
teaching which is so little suited to children, who ought 
to learn first to read the book of nature ! 

" Feb. 14. — To-day I am satisfied : he learnt willingly. 
I have played with him : I have been horseman, butcher, 
everything he wished. 

" I drew some straight lines for him to copy. Fiissli, 
the painter, said to me : All that you do should be done 

3 * 


thoroughly ; do not pass from a to 6, until a is perfectly 
known, and so with all. Be in no haste to advance, but 
stay at the first step until that is thoroughly well done ; 
thus you will avoid confusion and waste. That all 
should be complete, that all should be in order, not the 
least bit of confusion — think how important ! 

" Since it is nature that gives us our first language : 
is she not able to give us ten languages in the same 
manner ? I perceive that I am not following closely 
enough the course of nature in the teaching of language. 
It is necessary that I should further accustom myself 
always to speak Latin. 

" Feb. 15. — Lead your child by the hand to the great 
scenes of nature ; teach him on the mountain and in 
the valley. There he will listen better to your teaching ; 
the liberty will give him greater force to surmount 
difficulties. But in these hours of liberty it should be 
nature that teaches rather than you. Do not allow 
yourself to prevail for the pleasure of success in your 
teaching; or to desire in the least to proceed when 
nature diverts him ; do not take away in the least the 
pleasure which she offers him. Let him completely 
realise that it is nature that teaches, and that you, with 
your art, do nothing more than walk quietly at her side.^ 
When he hears a bird warble, or an insect hum on a 
leaf, then cease your talk ; the bird and the insect are 
teaching; your business is then to be silent. 

" But in the few hours of study when steady work 
is necessary to acquire necessary knowledge, no inter- 
ruption should be allowed. These hours ought to be few 
in number, but nothing should be permitted to inter- 
rupt them. In this matter it is absolutely necessary to 
go contrary to the natural bent for liberty. 


" Nothing produces such bitter feeling as the punish- 
ment of ignorance as a fault. In punishing an inno- 
cent child we lose our hold on the heart. We must not 
suppose that a child knows of himself what is harmful 
and what in our eyes is serious. 

" Plenty of joy and liberty and only a few occasions 
when the child is obliged to fight against and overcome 
his natural desires, will give strength and courage to en- 
dure. Too much restraint lowers courage, and the 
times of joy which take its place will fail of their happy 
influence. The strongest and most frequent impres- 
sions are those which determine character, for they 
dominate the others. Because of this it is possible to 
correct defects by education. 

" Feb. 16 and 17. — I have taught him to hold the 
pencil. Though this be but a very small matter, I will 
not permit him in future to hold it badly, in a single 

"Feb. 19. — Liberty is a good thing; and obedience 
is equally so. We should re-unite what Rousseau has 
separated. Impressed by the evils of an unwise con- 
straint that only tends to degrade humanity he has not 
remembered the limits of liberty. 

" Let us make use of the wisdom of his principles. 

" Master ! be persuaded of the excellence of liberty. 
Do not allow vanity to lead you astray and cause you 
to seek to produce, by your efforts, premature fruits ; let 
your child be as free as possible ; seek diligently for 
every means of leaving him free, tranquil and good- 
humoured. Teach him everything, absolutely every- 
thing, that is possible through the realities of the very 
nature of things ; teach him nothing through words. 
Leave him to himself to see, to hear, to find out, to 


stumble, to recover, and to make mistakes. No words 
when action, when doing a thing for himself, is possible ! 
What he can do for himself, let him do it ; so that he 
may always be occupied, always active, and that the 
time during which he is left to himself may be much 
the greater part of his childhood. You should recognise 
that nature teaches better than men. . . . 

" He must trust you. If he frequently asks for some- 
thing you do not think good, tell him what the conse- 
quences will be, and leave him his liberty ; but arrange 
it so that the consequences shall be impressive. Al- 
ways show him the right way ; if he departs from it, 
and falls into the mire, pull him out of it. Thus he will 
find himself in very disagreeable positions through not 
having profited by your warnings, and through having 
enjoyed complete liberty. In this way his trust in you 
will be such that he will not feel hurt when you are 
obliged to restrain his liberty by a prohibition. It is 
necessary for him to be obedient to a wise master or 
the father who gives good advice ; but only in cases of 
necessity ought the master to prescribe things." 

In these reflections we may clearly see the definite 
beginnings of his ideas on : — things before words ; follow- 
ing nature ; observation and nature study ; self-activity 
and thoroughness ; language teaching ; number teach- 
ing ; character training ; and orderly development. 

While he was thus trying to fulfil the duties of the 
parent-educator, and perhaps in some measure because 
of this, his worldly affairs were going from bad to worse. 
Bad soil, a faithless steward, and lack of practical ability 
brought matters to a crisis. The banker who had ad- 
vanced capital to Pestalozzi withdrew it. However 
the relatives of Pestalozzi's wife came to the rescue, 


and he was enabled to carry on his farm ; and also to 
try to improve matters by doing a little in the way of 
weaving and spinning cotton. But in spite of all his 
endeavours matters continued to go wrong. 

But his own troubles only served to make him think 
more about the sufferings of others. He asked himself 
what had become of all his thoughts about improving 
the lot of the poor. How was such work to be done ? 
He had now obtained actual knowledge of the life and 
habits of the peasantry, and had made up his mind that 
reform and progress must come, first and foremost, from 
within an individual rather than from without, and from 
the young rather than from their elders. He resolved, 
therefore, to begin with the most destitute and degraded 
children ; to educate them, in the first place, through 
their feelings, their ordinary work, and domestic life : 
and to aim at making them self-respecting and self- 
dependent. His wife entirely agreed with him. 

At this period it was a common practice to hand 
over orphans or foundlings to the care of farmers and 
peasants, who, ignorant and selfish, cared for nothing 
except getting all the profit they could out of the 
arrangement. The children were made to work very 
hard ; received no, or bad, education ; and were often 
forced to become common beggars, for the advantage of 
their degraded guardians. Here was work meet for him ; 
and he resolved to get together such waifs and castaways 
and give them an industrial, moral and intellectual 
education. The children were to do something towards 
earning their keep by working in his spinning-mill. His 
aim was "to call forth, and put into action, the power 
every human being possesses of satisfying his needs 
and doing his duty in his state of life ". His ideas were 


approved by, and he received every encouragement and 
help from, his friends Pastor Schinz (of Zurich), Lavater, 
FussH, IseHn (registrar of Basle), and other influential 

Of this purpose of theirs he says : " My wife had much 
to suffer because of our position ; nevertheless nothing 
could shake, either in her or in me, the intention to 
consecrate our time, our strength, and the remainder of 
our fortune to the simplification of the instruction and 
the domestic education of the people" {Swan Song). So, 
during the winter of 1774-75 they began their work. 
Pestalozzi received at his house some children whom 
he gathered together from the neighbourhood : little 
mendicants whom he found in the villages and on the 
roads. He clothed and fed them, and cared for them 
with a father's affection. He had them always with 
him, and let them take part in all his work in the 
garden, on the farm, and in the house. In bad weather 
they were occupied in spinning cotton in a large room 
which formed one floor of his farmhouse. Only a very 
short time was devoted to lessons, and often the instruc- 
tion was given whilst the children were working with 
their hands. He did not make haste to teach them to 
read and to write, being persuaded that this talent was 
of no use until they knew how to talk. But he un- 
ceasingly occupied them in the exercise of language, 
concerning subjects which were furnished by their own 
life, and he made them repeat passages from the Bible 
until they knew them by heart. 

He finally had about twenty children. These made 
great progress both in manual and mental work, and 
developed most satisfactorily in morals and in health. 
Many more were anxious to share in the advantages 


which were offered ; but Pestalozzi had already more 
than his means allowed, though eagerly anxious to take 
in others. The experiment attracted general attention, 
and was highly approved and admired. Subscriptions 
were offered him, and he was advised to make a public 
appeal for support. 

So Pestalozzi drew up, in 1776, an ''Appeal to the 
friends and benefactors of humanity who may be willing 
to support an institution designed to provide education 
and work for poor country children ". After describing 
how he had already proved the practicability and success 
of reforming both the minds and morals of destitute and 
degraded children, he gives the following undertaking, 
provided that sufficient money is advanced to him : 
" The money will be paid back in ten years. . . . The 
number of children admitted shall be according to the 
financial support given to me. I promise to teach all 
the children to read, write and calculate. I promise to 
initiate all the boys, so far as my knowledge and position 
permit me, in all the practical processes of small farming. 
I understand the means of cultivation which will, from 
a small area of land, yield the most abundant products. 
I promise to teach them how to lay down artificial 
grass-land ; to look after and develop the fattening of 
cattle ; to know by extensive experiments the different 
grasses and the importance of their proper mixings; 
the nature and the use of marl ; the effects, still disputed, 
of the repeated use of Hme ; the management of fruit 
trees, and, perhaps, of a few forest trees. 

" All this will arise out of the position and needs of 
my estate, so that such efforts will always be work 
connected with the needs of the house, and not in the 
least a study which necessitates unproductive outlay. 


It will also be the household needs which will furnish 
the young girls opportunity to learn gardening, domestic 
work and needle-work. The principal occupation in 
bad weather will be the spinning of fine cotton. 

" I promise to give them religious instruction, con- 
sidered as a matter of conscience, and to do all that in 
me lies to develop in them a pure and tender heart." 

He goes on to point out that the most gratifying 
success has attended his experiment with the twenty 
children he has already with him ; and states that he 
will be personally responsible for all future charges 
connected with them. He undertakes to make an 
annual report of his work to the subscribers, and asks 
that the work shall be inspected, and iio money given 
to him unless he carries out his promises. After men- 
tioning the names of well-known men who are support- 
ing him, he makes a final appeal for the confidence and 
support of all " friends of humanity ". 

The response to this appeal was, on the whole, 
satisfactory — the Council of Commerce of the Bern 
Republic promised to help — and Pestalozzi was enabled 
to go on with his work. In accordance with his pro- 
mise to give his patrons a full account of his work 
Pestalozzi wrote letters to the Ephemerides. In these 
he sets forth his views as best way of reforming the 
working classes, through the education of their children 
in establishments which combine agriculture and manu- 
facture for their training. He holds that such institu- 
tions will be self-supporting, because of the earnings of 
the children. 

He says : " It is possible to improve their growth, 
strength and health by a very simple and economical 
diet ; for their nourishment consists [at Neuhof] almost 


entirely of vegetables, though their work is most con- 
stant and diligent. Nevertheless they are robust : the 
strongest go about in the open bareheaded and without 
shoes or stockings (Jacobli, the only son of the director, 
is not treated differently). It is possible, in a short 
time, to make them reasonably skilful in their work, 
and at the same time to lead them to acquire such 
school knowledge as is suitable to their position." 
Even the weakest and most feeble-minded may be re- 
deemed, if the director be a true father in his relations 
to the children — but no other way will do — the children 
be kept from the influence of their parents : and stay 
in the institution for five or six years. Pestalozzi found 
it necessary to have a written agreement with parents 
as to the conditions of admission, so grossly did they 
abuse the privileges of the institution. 

The Bern Agricultural Society appointed some well- 
known and competent men to inspect the establishment, 
in 1778, and then issued a report in which they express 
their full confidence in Pestalozzi and his work. The 
report was issued as a pamphlet, which contained also 
an account by Pestalozzi himself, with a detailed de- 
scription of the thirty-seven pupils. These descriptions 
give us some idea of the difficulties of the work; e.g., 
" They [two sisters, aged nineteen and eleven] came to 
me three years ago, extremely neglected in body and 
mind ; they had spent their lives in begging. We have 
had indescribable trouble to implant the beginnings of 
order, truthfulness and industry in them. The degree 
of brutishness and ignorance in the elder passes all 
belief, and her idleness is chronic. . . . Henri Vogt, of 
Mandach, eleven ; has been here three years ; can weave 
well : has begun to write : works well at French and 


arithmetic : is exact and careful in everything ; but 
his heart seems to me to be cunning, deceitful, suspici- 
ous and greedy ; he has good health. . . . Maria Bsechli, 
eight ; excessively feeble in intelligence and body. But 
it will be very very interesting for humanity to see that 
imbecile children, roughly brought up, who would have 
had no resource except the madhouse, may be, by 
affectionate attentions appropriate to their feebleness, 
saved from this misery, and enabled to secure a modest 
livelihood and an independent life. . . . Henri Fuchsli, 
of Brugg, seven ; has only been here a few weeks ; seems 

The staff is thus described by Pestalozzi : " For the 
conduct of the establishment and in the interests of 
the children, I get the most valuable assistance from 
Mile. Madelon Spindler, of Strasbourg, who possesses 
extraordinary ability and astonishing activity. I have, 
besides, a master for weaving, and two experienced 
weavers ; a mistress for spinning, and two young women 
spinners ; a man who with the work of winding com- 
bines the teaching of elementary reading, as well as 
two menials and two women-servants almost wholly 
occupied in farm -work." 

In spite of all his hopes and efforts Pestalozzi's un- 
practical nature again betrayed him, and financial diffi- 
culties once more assailed him. He tried to find a 
remedy for this by considerably increasing the number 
of children ; but this only increased the evil. Parents 
who were themselves common beggars complained most 
bitterly against him, and persuaded their children to 
run away — so that they might enjoy the earnings that 
the training and skill they got from Pestalozzi would 
enable them to obtain — but not before they had got a 


new suit of clothes at the institution. Untrue and 
unfair reports were circulated, came to the ears of 
subscribers, and led to the falling off of subscriptions. 
And all this whilst Pestalozzi continued to admit 
children who arrived covered with rags and vermin, 
whom he made clean and comfortable ; he himself 
partaking of the same kind of food as they had, except 
that he gave them the best potatoes whilst keeping the 
worst for himself. 

" Every Sunday," he says, " my house was filled with 
parents, who finding that the position of their children 
did not answer to their expectations, and as though to 
encourage them in their discontent, treated me with all 
the arrogance which a horde of brutish mendicants can 
allow themselves in an establishment which enjoyed 
neither official support nor imposing exterior." 

Still Pestalozzi struggled on, battling with ill-health 
and worse fortune, but nobly encouraged and supported 
by his faithful wife. When too late he called in the 
help of able and experienced men. But matters were 
past mending, and after two years of painful perseverance, 
when husband and wife had spent their last strength and 
their last shilling, the end came. The establishment 
was closed in 1700. 

Pestalozzi, though still the owner of house and farm, 
was, in effect, as poor as the beggars for whom he had 
beggared himself. Again his friends and relations came 
to his rescue and kept his home together. But his wife's 
bad health, and his own exhausted condition, left them in- 
capable of helping themselves, and soon they were with- 
out food, fuel, or money, and suffering from cold and 

Their sad condition called forth an act of heroic de- 


votion on the part of a domestic servant, Elizabeth Naef, 
of Kappel, who knew Pestalozzi through having been in 
the service of one of his relatives. When she heard of 
their distress she straightway went to Neuhof and in- 
sisted upon succouring them. Pestalozzi tried hard to 
dissuade her from sharing their sufferings, but she would 
not be denied. She set the house in order, put the 
garden straight, cultivated a small plot of land, and by 
good management and incessant labour kept the wolf 
from the door. Well might Pestalozzi take her as his 
model for the noble Gertrude. 

Nearly twenty years after he thus wrote of his aims 
and his work for the children at Neuhof: ''The thing 
was not that they should know what they did not know, 
but that they should behave as they did not behave. . . . 
I lived for years together in a circle of more than fifty 
pauper children ; in poverty did I share my bread with 
them, and lived myself like a pauper, to try if I could 
teach paupers to live as men. The plan which I had 
formed for their education embraced agriculture, manu- 
facture and commerce. In no one of the three de- 
partments did I possess any practical ability for the 
management of details, nor was my mind cast to keep 
up persevering attention to little things ; and in an 
isolated position, with limited means, I was unable to 
procure such assistance as might have made up for my 
own deficiencies. In a short time I was surrounded with 
embarrassments and saw the great object of my wishes 
defeated. In the struggle, however, in which this at- 
tempt involved me, I had learned a vast deal of truth, 
and I was never more fully convinced of the importance 
of my views and plans than at the moment when they 
seemed to be for ever set at rest by a total failure. . . . 


Before I was aware of it I was deeply involved in debt, 
and the greater part of my dear wife's property and ex- 
pectations had in an instant, as it were, gone up in 
smoke. . . . 

" Difficulties might gradually have been more or less 
overcome if I had not sought to carry out my experi- 
ment on a scale that was quite disproportioned to my 
strength, and had I not with almost incredible thought- 
lessness wanted to convert it, in the very beginning, into 
an undertaking which presupposed a thorough know- 
ledge of manufactures, men and business, in which I 
was deficient in the same proportion as they were 
rendered necessary to me by the direction which I now 
gave to my undertaking. 

" I, who so much disapproved of hurrying to the higher 
stages of instruction before a thorough foundation had 
been laid in the elementary steps of the lower stages, 
and looked upon it as the fundamental error in the educa- 
tion of the day, and who also believed that I was myself 
endeavouring with all my might to counteract it in my 
plan of education, allowed myself to be carried away by 
illusions of the greater remunerativeness of the higher 
branches of industry, without knowing even remotely 
either them or the means of learning and introducing 
them, and to commit the very faults in teaching my school- 
children spinning and weaving. ... I wanted to have 
the finest thread spun before my children had gained 
any steadiness or sureness of hand in spinning even the 
coarser kinds, and, in Hke manner, to make musHn fabrics 
before my weavers had acquired sufficient steadiness and 
readiness in the weaving of common cotton goods." 

But there was no "total failure" in the matter, for 
over a hundred children had been rescued from ignorance 


and poverty and degradation ; and Pestalozzi rightly 
claimed that : " I have proved that children after having 
lost health, strength and courage in a life of idleness 
and mendicity have, when once set to regular work, 
quickly recovered their health and spirits and grown 
rapidly. I have found that when taken out of their abject 
condition they soon became kindly, trustful and sympa- 
thetic ; that even the most degraded of them are touched 
by kindness, and that the eyes of the child who has been 
steeped in misery grow bright with pleasure and surprise 
when, after years of hardship, he sees a gentle friendly 
hand stretched out to help him ; and I am convinced 
that when a child's heart has been touched the conse- 
quences will be great for his development and entire 
moral character. ... It gives me indescribable pleasure 
to see young children, boys and girls, formerly miserable 
little creatures, grow and develop, to see contentment 
depicted on their faces, to teach their hands to work, to 
raise their souls to their Creator, to see the tears of 
innocence in prayer shine in the eyes of beloved children, 
and to discern the glimmering of hope, of sentiments, 
and morals, worthy of the young, in a degraded and 
abandoned race. It is joy and happiness beyond de- 
scription to see human beings, the image of their 
Almighty Creator, grow up in so many forms and with 
such different gifts, and then perhaps to discover, where 
no one expected it, in the miserable and abandoned son 
of the poorest artisan, a great spirit, a genius to be 

Now followed evil days for Pestalozzi. His land was 
let to satisfy his creditors, though he was allowed to 
remain in the house. *' His situation was frightful. 
Frequently in his only too elegant country house he 


wanted money, bread and fuel to protect himself against 
hunger and cold. His faithful wife, who had pledged 
nearly the whole of her property for him, fell into a 
severe and tedious illness " (Raumer). Added to this 
was the open contempt of his neighbours, whose pre- 
vious feelings of unbounded confidence, he tells us, 
'' changed into a totally blind abandonment of even the 
last shadow of respect for my endeavours, and of belief 
in my fitness for the accomplishment of any part of 
them. ... My friends now only loved me without hope ; 
in the whole circuit of the surrounding district it was 
ever^^where said that I was a lost man, that nothing 
more could be done for me." 



Of the next eighteen years of his life, immediately 
following the closing of the Neuhof Poor School, one 
of his biographers (Dr. Biber) writes : " After the 
breaking up of that institution we find Pestalozzi in a 
condition truly deplorable. Dunned by his creditors, 
reviled by his enemies, insulted by men in power, 
sneered at by the vulgar, treated with ingratitude by 
most of those whom he had served, and separated from 
the few that might have been grateful, destitute of all 
assistance, but overwhelmed with mortifying advice, 
cast down by a succession of misfortunes, and tor- 
mented by a consciousness of having contributed to 
them by his own failings, he consumed his days in 
painful desolation on the same spot which he had made 
the dwelling-place of love and mercy, but which had 
now become to him an abode of anxiety and sorrow. 
He had deprived his wife, with her only son, of those 
enjoyments and advantages to which her education and 
circumstances had given her a claim ; and he had not 
even to offer her, in compensation, the tranquil com- 
forts of retirement. 

" He was riveted with his family to a ruined and 
disordered economy, which, at every step, brought 



painful recollections and anxious prospects before his 
mind. Of the cause which lay nearest his heart he 
durst not speak, even in a whisper ; a sarcastic hint 
as to the success of his undertaking would have been 
the answer. He was obliged to conceal from mankind 
the love he bore them, and to take it for tender compas- 
sion on their part if they considered him no worse than 
a lunatic." 

Another writer has well said: "Eighteen years! — 
what a time for a soul like his to wait ! History 
lightly passes over such a period. Ten, twenty, thirty 
years— it makes but a cipher difference if nothing great 
happens in them. But with what agony must he have 
seen day after day, year after year gliding by, who in 
his fervent soul longed to labour for the good of man- 
kind and yet looked in vain for the opportunity ! " 

Not in vain, however, was this time of tribulation. 
Like John the Baptist of old he was preparing his 
message for the world. In deep communings with his 
own heart and mind, such as all great souls seem 
to undergo, he still worked out his plan of salvation 
for the common people. His noble ideals were but 
chastened and clarified by the waters of affliction. 
Experience taught him but did not pervert him. He 
believed more firmly than ever in his ideals because he 
saw more clearly and fully their need and truth. He 
says : " Even while I was the sport of men who con- 
demned me I never lost sight for a moment of the 
object I had in view, which was the removal of the 
causes of the misery that I saw on all sides of me. My 
strength too kept on increasing, and my own misfor- 
tunes taught me valuable truths. I knew the people as 



on one else did. What deceived no one else always de- 
ceived me, but what deceived everybody else deceived 
me no longer. . . . My own sufferings have enabled me 
to understand the sufferings of the people and their 
causes as no man without suffering can understand 
them. I suffered what the people suffered and saw 
them as no one else saw them ; and strange as it may 
seem, I was never more profoundly convinced of the 
fundamental truths on which I had based my under- 
taking than when I saw that I had failed." 

Not all his friends failed him in his sorest need. His 
old college friend Iselin, who was now editor of Ephe- 
merides, invited him, in 1780, to contribute to it, and 
Pestalozzi did so in the form of a series of aphorisms on 
life and education, under the title of The evening hour 
of a hermit. The style and purpose of his work may 
be judged from the following quotations : — 

" Pastors and teachers of the nations, know you man ; 
is it with you a matter of conscience to understand his 
nature and his destiny ? 

"All mankind are in their nature alike, they have 
but one path of contentment. The natural faculties of 
each one are to be perfected into pure human wisdom. 
This general education of man must serve as the foun- 
dation to every education of a particular rank. 

" The faculties grow by exercise. 

"The intellectual powers of children must not be 
urged on to remote distances before they have acquired 
strength by exercise in things near them. 

"The circle of knowledge commences close round a 
man and from thence stretches out concentrically. 

'' Real knowledge must take precedence of word-teach- 
ing and mere talk." 


Twenty-one years later he was able to say of these 
reflections : " Iselin's Ephemerides bear witness that 
the dream of my wishes is not more comprehensive now 
than it was when at that time I sought to realise it ". 

As has so often been the case with the world's 
greatest men, the want of bread-and-butter has called 
forth their very souls into articulate form. Soon the 
crown and glory of all Pestalozzi's writings was to be 
produced — Leonard mid Gertrude, a Book for the People. 
It happened that in 1781 the town's watchmen were to 
be put into uniform, and this caused a good deal of 
discussion. One important outcome of this can best 
be given in Pestalozzi's own words : ^' In a playful 
moment I put together a short composition turning 
this innovation into ridicule, which happened to be 
lying on Flissli's [a friendly bookseller] table when he 
was talking with his brother the painter (who, as far as 
I know, is now living in London where he is held in 
great esteem) about my sad fate, and lamenting that he 
knew of no means of helping me out of my present 
situation, considering the sort of man I was, and the 
manner in which I acted. Just at this instant the 
painter took up the squib upon the transformation 
of the crooked, dusty and uncombed town-watchmen 
under our gates, into straight, combed and trim ones, 
read it through several times, and then said to his 
brother : ' This man can help himself to any extent he 
pleases ; he has talent for writing in a style which at 
the time in which we live will most certainly excite 
interest ; encourage him to do so, and tell him from me, 
that he can most certainly help himself as an author, 
if he only will '. My friend sent for me on the spot 
and was overjoyed while he told me this, and added. 


* I cannot conceive at all how it was possible that this 
should not have struck me '. 

'' I felt as if he were telling me a dream. In the 
pressure of events I had so neglected my own improve- 
ment that I could scarcely write a line without com- 
mitting grammatical errors ; and in spite of all that 
Fiissli said, I thought myself quite incapable of such 
work. But necessity which is so often said to be a bad 
counsellor was now a good one to me. Marmontel's 
Contes moraux were lying on my table when I came 
home ; I immediately took them up and asked myself 
the distinct question, whether it might be possible for 
me to do anything of the kind, and after I had read a 
few of these tales, and read them again, it appeared to 
me that, after all, this might not be altogether impos- 
sible. I attempted five or six similar little stories, of 
which all I know is that no one of them pleased me ; 
the last was Leonard and Gertrude, whose history 
flowed from my pen, I know not how, and developed 
itself of its own accord, without my having the slightest 
plan in my head, and even without my thinking of one. 
In a few weeks the book stood there, without my know- 
ing exactly how I had done it. I felt its value, but 
only as a man in his sleep feels the value of some piece 
of good fortune of which he is just dreaming, I scarcely 
knew that I was awake, and yet a new ray of hope 
began to dawn upon m.e, when I thought that it might 
be possible to better my pecuniary condition, and to 
make it more supportable to my family. . . . 

" He [Recorder Iselin of Basle, whom Pestalozzi con- 
sulted] immediately wrote to Decker in Berlin, who 
paid me a louisd'or per sheet, but promised at the same 
time that, if the sale of the work should render a second 


edition necessary, he would pay me the same again. I 
was unspeakably satisfied. A louis d'or per sheet was 
to me much, very much, in the circumstances in which 
I then was. The book appeared, and excited quite a 
remarkable degree of interest in my own country and 
throughout the whole of Germany. Nearly all the 
journals spoke in its praise, and, what is perhaps still 
more, nearly all the almanacs became full of it ; but the 
most unexpected thing to me was that, immediately 
after its appearance, the Agricultural Society of Bern 
awarded me their great gold medal, with a letter of 
thanks. Pleased as I was with the medal, and glad as 
I should have been to keep it, I was nevertheless obliged 
to part with it in my then situation, and sold it some 
weeks after for its value in money at a goldsmith's." 

In the preface to the first edition he writes: "In 
that which I here rekte, and which I have for the most 
part seen and heard myself in the course of an active 
life, I have even taken care not once to add my own 
opinion to what I saw and heard the people themselves 
feeling, judging, believing, speaking and attempting". 
In the preface to the second edition he says that the 
object of the book was " to bring about a better popular 
education, based upon the true condition of the people 
and their natural relations. It was my first word to 
the heart of the poor and destitute in the land ... to 
the mothers in the land, and to the heart which God 
gave them, to be to theirs what no one on earth can be 
in their stead." 

Briefly the story, so far as it directly concerns educa- 
tion, is as follows : In the village of Bonnal, of which 
Arner is lord and which is managed by his unprincipled 
steward Hummel, live Leonard and his wife Gertrude. 


Leonard is a man of weak character, easily led into 
wrong, and has fallen into the power of Hummel, 
through borrowing money from him. Gertrude is " the 
angel in the house " : the perfect wife and mother, the 
Good-Samaritan neighbour, and the complete housewife. 
To rescue her husband from the clutches of the steward 
Gertrude goes to the castle to see Arner. The result of 
her visit is that Leonard is commissioned to build a 
church, and Hummel becomes suspect. Then follows 
a conflict between the influences for evil and for good in 
the village ; Arner having become, through Gertrude's 
influence and the force of events, the champion of the 
good. Though many good deeds are done by Arner 
nothing really substantial in reform takes place until a 
spinner named Cotton Meyer suggests to Arner that 
''after all we can do very little with the people unless 
the next generation is to have a different training from 
that our schools furnish. Our schools ought really to 
stand in the closest connection with the life of the home, 
instead of, as now, in strong contradiction to it." 

Lieutenant Gliilphi, a friend and helper of Arner, 
warmly supports this view. The question then arises : 
how is such a school to be set up in Bonnal. Cotton 
Meyer says: " I know a spinning- woman in the village 
who understands it far better than I ". This is Gertrude 
who trains her own children in her own house. Arner, 
Gliilphi and the pastor visit Gertrude's cottage and 
watch Gertrude training her children. The result is 
that Gliilphi resolves, " I will be schoolmaster," and 
obtains Gertrude's promise to help him ; all agreeing 
that the proper education of the young is the only 
means of reforming the village. Gliilphi becomes the 
village schoolmaster and, after he has overcome great 


Opposition from the parents and the children, his work 
is crowned with success and he becomes a power for 
good in the village. Thus is opened a new era, and from 
this time forward things go on so well that Bonnal be- 
comes a model village, and a commission is appointed 
from the ducal court to report on the possibility of a 
universal application of the principles of government in 
the village. This commission was constituted on these 
lines: "to ensure thoroughness there must be among 
the examiners men skilled in law and finance, merchants, 
clergymen. Government officials, schoolmasters and 
physicians, beside women of different ranks and condi- 
tions, who shall view the matter with their woman's 
eyes, and be sure that there is nothing visionary in the 
background ". The examiners, after six days' searching 
inspection, unanimously recommended that the principles 
should be applied universally. 

There is also a parallel purpose in the book : the 
setting forth of ways and means of social and economic 
reform. The terrible evils wrought upon the persons 
and characters of poor people by tyrannical and un- 
principled officials — influenced by greed of gain and un- 
checked by proper supervision — are exposed with un- 
flinching truth. It is then shown how an intelligent 
and right-minded man, with power, can thwart the 
designs of the corrupter and the corrupted, and en- 
courage those who desire to do well, by personal action 
and wisely planned arrangements. Indolence, theft, 
and the abuse of charity can be prevented ; whilst the 
love of ease, pleasure and honour can be rightly directed. 
A proper use of religious services and festivals, and the 
exposure of superstitions, can be used for the furthering 
of enlightenment amongst the people. 


One of the most powerful influences for good will be 
found in the union and harmonious action of all classes. 
A scheme to reaHse this in Bonnal is outlined : — (i) A 
school to be organised, the methods in which are to be 
in harmony with the developing influence of domestic 
life. (2) The better part of the people of Bonnal to 
join with those of the castle and the parsonage in 
obtaining a real and active influence over the various 
households in the village. (3) A new method of 
choosing overseers (bailiffs) to be adopted, so that the 
evil influence of bad overseers might be avoided. 
Further, the peasants were to have tithe-free land for 
those of their children who saved eight or ten florins 
before their twentieth year. Thus developed through 
education : a share in their local government : and 
security of property, the people of Bonnal make their 
place a model village. 

The book has many passages of great eloquence, 
exquisite pathos, manly morahsing, sparkling wit, dra- 
matic intensity, riotous humour, fine character sketches, 
and charming incidents, in spite of its want of plot and 
great diffuseness. 

Whilst the book was widely and eagerly read it 
failed to convey to the masses Pestalozzi's own moral — 
that the proper education of the young is the foundation 
and corner-stone of true reform. Most of those who 
read the book desired only to be interested and amused, 
and seemed to think that it showed that all the poverty 
and depravity among the common people resulted from 
the dishonesty and greed of village oflicials ; and that it 
only needed mothers like Gertrude, schoolmasters like 
Gliilphi, and lords like Arner to put such matters right. 
Festalozzi realised that his readers missed his point and, 


to remedy this, he wrote another book : Christopher and 
Eliza, my second book for the people, in 1782. In a later 
edition of it he says in the preface : " I made a peasant 
family read together Leonard and Gertrude, and say 
things about the story of that work, and the persons 
introduced in it, which I thought might not occur of 
themselves to everybody's mind ". The book consists 
of thirty dialogues in which Christopher, an intelligent 
farmer, discusses with his family and head servant the 
history of Bonnal, chapter by chapter. This also failed 
of its purpose so far as the poor themselves were con- 
cerned. He then continued Leonard and Gertrude, in 
three more volumes which appeared in 1783, 1785 and 
1787 respectively. 

But those of great minds and large hearts, those in 
high places who sought the welfare of the many, under- 
stood, appreciated and sympathised with the purpose of 
the book. Henning says that it was translated into 
Danish ; and that the nobles — amongst others the Coun- 
tess Schimmelman — were so much impressed and in- 
fluenced by the reading of it that they took steps to 
improve the condition of the peasantry on their own 
estates. Count Zinzendorf, the Austrian Minister of 
Finance, consulted Pestalozzi as to educational legisla- 
tion based on the ideas set forth in the book. 

Perhaps the greatest individual triumph of this work 
was its influence on Fellenberg, who says : " The book 
made a deep impression on me, and each time I read it 
I was more and more convinced of its truth, and it was 
in a burst of deep feeling caused by the reading of it 
that I vowed to my mother that I would devote my life 
to the poor and forsaken children ". Thus arose another 
great Swiss reformer, 


On the advice of Iselin, Pestalozzi started a weekly 
newspaper, called the Swiss News, in 1782. In this he 
strove to make his views more widely known and better 
understood. His chief purpose was to show how 
education was the best means for dealing with the 
deepest elements of the national life, so as to secure its 
highest welfare and cure its worst diseases. He writes : 
" Governors and instructors have only to direct the 
progress of the enlightenments and the enjoyments of 
the time, with all the power and with all the wisdom 
they possess, in order that the people may lose nothing 
that is still good, may thoroughly understand what they 
ought to do, and willingly do that which brings them a 
livelihood ". Again : " Human morality is nothing more 
than that which results from the development of the 
first feelings of love and gratitude which the nursling 
experiences ". 

As to the beginnings of education, he writes: '*The 
first development of the child's powers ought to come 
from his participation in the work of the paternal house ; 
for this work is, necessarily, that which the father and 
mother best understand, that which most engages their 
attention, and that which they are best able to teach ". 
In a very characteristic passage — half rhapsody and half 
reason — he says, in one number : " Summer day ! teach 
to this worm who crawls upon the earth that the fruits 
of life develop in the midst of the fires and storms of 
our globe ; but that to ripen they need the gentle rains, 
the glistening dew, and the refreshing rest of night. 
Teach me, summer day, that man, formed of the dust 
of the ground, grows and ripens like a plant rooted in 
the soil." 

Essays are given on such subjects as : the abuse of 


legal forms for defeating the ends of justice; one law 
for the rich and another for the poor ; the hypocrisy of 
liberal sentiments among the privileged classes and 
their indifference to the real sufferings of the poor ; 
domestic economy among the lower classes ; the in- 
fluence of different occupations on the character of the 
people ; the state of the peasantry and of the manufac- 
turing classes ; the best interest of landed proprietors ; 
parochial administration ; the corruption of high life ; 
the destructive effects of quackery and superstition ; 
the moral improvement of criminals ; the defects of 
charity schools ; the duty of society to secure to every 
individual the means of gaining an honest livelihood ; 
medical police ; and so on. 

In this periodical he published a series of allegorical 
tales, under the somewhat fanciful title of Illustrations 
to my A B C Book, or to the Elements of my Philosophy. 
The deep insight and searching irony — in relation to the 
political and social conditions in the country (see pp. 3-9) 
— in them may be seen in the following selections : — 

*' The Flame and the Tallow. 

" ' I am always ashamed to see myself so near to you,' 
said the flame to the tallow. 

'* The tallow answered : ' I thought you were ashamed 
of losing me, because then you always disappear '. 

" ' FooHsh grease,' replied the flame, ' it is true that I 
shine only so long as I live upon you, but I am ashamed 
of letting it be known.' " 

** The Oak and the Grass. 

" One morning the grass said to the oak, under whose 
branches it grew : ' I should get on much better in the 


Open than under your shelter'. ' You are very ungrate- 
ful,' replied the oak, ' not to acknowledge the blessing, 
which you enjoy, of being protected from the frost in 
winter by the leaves from my autumn sheddings, with 
which I cover you.' 

" But the grass answered : ' You deprive me, with your 
branches, of my share of sun, dew and rain ; and with 
your roots my portion of nourishment from the ground ; 
boast not therefore of the forced benevolence of your 
foliage, with which you foster your own growth rather 
than prevent my decay '." 

" The Privilege of the Fishes. 

" The fishes in a pond complained that they were, 
more than their neighbours in other ponds, persecuted 
by the pikes. Thereupon an old pike, who was the 
judge of the pond, pronounced this sentence : * That the 
defendants, to make amends, shall in future permit, 
every year, two common fishes to become pikes '." 

" Equality. 

" A dwarf said to a giant : ' We have equal rights ! ' 
' Very true, my good friend ; but you cannot walk in my 
shoes,' replied the giant." 

By calling these fables '* Illustrations of my A B C," 
i.e., Leonard and Gertrude, Pestalozzi intended to draw 
attention to the fact that they were yet another attempt 
to make clear " the elements of my philosophy," i.e., the 
moral regeneration of the race, through education, as the 
only means to human happiness. 

These writings show very clearly what was the real 
basis of Pestalozzi's work, viz., national regeneration 
through education aiming at the highest individual 


development ; and how his own mind was developing in 
his efforts to set forth his new gospel of social salvation. 
Ashe once said to Mrs. Niederer: "It is only by en- 
nobling men that we can put an end to the misery and 
ferment of the people ; and also to the abuses of des- 
potism, whether it be of princes or whether it be of 
mobs ". 

The Swiss News lasted for only twelve months, and 
its value was for posterity rather than for its own times. 
In its essays, short moral stories, dialogues, fables and 
verse are enshrined some of the most striking evidences 
of Pestalozzi's genius : his originality, depth, fulness 
and independence of thought — untinged and unhampered 
by any outside influence whatsoever — being seen at their 

In 1787 he published the fourth volume of his Leonard 
and Gertrude ; and again took up farming. 

In 1797 appeared his Investigations into the Course of 
N attire in the Development of the Human Race. This was 
an attempt to find a philosophical basis for his views, 
and was undertaken at the suggestion of the great 
German philosopher FicKte. The following is a short 
outline of the plan and purpose of the book. He pro- 
poses, at the outset, to answer the following ques- 
tions : — 

" What am I ? what is the hi>.fnan species ? 

' ' What have I done ? what is thd'^human species doing ? 

''What has the course of my life, such as it has 
been, made of me ; and what has the '^course of life, such 
as it has been, made of the human species ? 

"On what ground do my volition and my opinions 
rest, and must they rest, under the circumstances in 
which I am placed ? 


"On what ground do the voHtions of the human 
species, and its opinions, rest, and must rest, under the 
circumstances in which it is placed ? " 

To find an answer to these questions he reviews the 
*' march of civilisation," and finds that : — 

" By the helplessness of his animal condition man is 
brought to knowledge. 

" Knowledge leads to acquisition, acquisition to pos- 
session. Possession leads to the formation of society. 
Society leads to powers and honours. Powers and 
honours lead to the relations of rulers and subjects, 
i.e., relations of nobles and commons to the crown. 

'' All these relations call for a state of law. The state 
of law calls for civil liberty. The want of law entails 
tyranny and slavery. 

" Following the course of nature in another direction, 
I find in myself a certain benevolence, by which acquisi- 
tion, honour, property and power ennoble my mind, 
whilst without it all these privileges of my social con- 
dition only tend to degrade me more deeply." 

In other words, the race has developed through three 
great stages, viz., (i) an original, instinctive, innocent, 
animal state of nature. In this condition man is the 
creature and the victim of circumstances ; " his hands 
are ever stained with the blood of his brother ; like a 
tiger he defends his den, and roars against his own 
species ; he claims the ends of the earth as his own ; 
and perpetrates whatever he chooses under the sun," 
i.e., there are no laws except those of self-preservation 
and no morals save his own satisfactions. But the 
hardships of such a life lead him to desire, and then to 
seek, better conditions. Hence conflict with his fellows 
is changed for co-operation with them. 


Now arises (2) the social state. Co-operation leads 
to greater achievements and more enjoyments. Speech 
and knowledge are greatly developed, and thus man the 
brute becomes man the human. But with this come 
rights and duties, for we can only get much by giving 
much. Now, therefore, come powers and honours, for 
''when hundreds and thousands are gathered together 
[man] is compelled, in spite of himself, to say to the 
strong, ' Be thou my shield ' ; and to the cunning, * Be 
thou my guide ' ; and to the rich, ' Be thou my pre- 
server ' ". Such honours and powers are in themselves 
indispensably connected with the development of our 
species ; and only when abused by unfaithful and 
criminal persons do they corrupt and degrade the race. 

After all, however, " the relation of man to man in 
the social state is merely animal . . . there is nothing 
he contemplates less than the service of God and the 
love due to his neighbour. He enters society with a 
view to gratify himself, and to enjoy all those things 
which, to a sensual and animal being, are the indispens- 
able conditions of satisfaction and happiness. The 
social law is, therefore, not in any wise a moral law, 
but a mere modification of the animal law." 

Man must, therefore, raise himself out of the social 
state — or he will ever be liable to, and suffer from, the 
dangers of it — into (3) the moral state. It is only the 
moral will — ''the force of which he opposes to the 
force of his nature " — that can save man. He finds 
within himself an element called benevolence, and a 
power called love, which will ennoble the very root of 
benevolence — even though this is essentially animal in 
its origin. " But there is a danger still of love being 
lost in my longing for self-gratification ; I feel desolate 



as an orphan, and I seek to rise beyond the power of 
imagination, beyond the limits of all research and 
knowledge that is possible here below, to the fountain- 
head of my existence, to derive from thence help against 
the desolation of my being, against all the ills and 
weaknesses of my nature." 

Therefore a man "will fear God in order that the 
animal instincts of his nature shall not degrade him in 
his inmost soul. He feels what he can do in this re- 
spect, and then he makes what he can do the law of 
what he ought to do. Subjected to this law, which he 
imposes upon himself, he is distinguished above all 
other creatures with which we are acquainted." This is 
the moral man : the man who desires to be higher, 
nobler and better than he is, and makes every en- 
deavour to raise himself by working upon his own 
character. Only when a society is composed of such 
men can it be a really beneficent, prosperous and 
happy one. 

The animal man is as nature makes him ; the social 
man is the product of the social organisation in which 
he happens to be ; but the moral man is the outcome 
of his own efforts — he is, in a sense, his own creator. 
" Morality is quite an individual matter. . . . No man 
can feel for me that I am. No man can feel for me 
that I am moral." The religion of the animal man 
is idolatry, because he is a slave to his senses and 
the creature of his fears. The religion of social man 
is deceit, because society fosters ambition, pride and 
inequality; and man strives, by every means, for 
place and power — endeavours to get all he can for 
himself at the expense of others. The religion of the 
moral man is truth^ for this is the foundation of his 


life and the only means by which he can carry out the 
self-improvement for which he lives. A man must 
possess himself — and this the truly moral man does — 
before he can really possess anything else. Then is he 
of real worth to himself, his family and the community, 
for he is no longer subject to his animal instincts or the 
prejudices of society. 

It is only fair to the reader to point out that the 
above summary is an attempt to make clear what 
Pestalozzi seems to have meant. All his critics are 
agreed that there is much that is wordy and obscure in 
the work ; but none the less, there is much that is fine 
in substance and in form. From the rational point of view 
it suffers seriously from the fact that it is — like Rousseau's 
works — speculative and fanciful rather than scientific 
and exact, but this does not make it either valueless 
or entirely wrong. That the views set forth in the book 
really underlaid and influenced Pestalozzi's methods, 
is clear from his other writings, and is, perhaps, best 
shown in his Letters on Infants' Education — one of the 
simplest, clearest and most interesting of his writ- 
ings on education, and the last and most neglected 
of them. His own criticism on the Investigations is : 
"This book is to me only another proof of my lack of 
ability ; it is simply a diversion of my imaginative 
faculty, a work relatively weak. . . . No one under- 
stands me, and it has been hinted that the whole work 
has been taken for nonsense." 

But to Pestalozzi all this meant much — he found 
himself, both intellectually and practically. He says : 
" I was grey haired, yet still a child, but a child deeply 
disturbed within himself Still in all these troublous 
times I moved forwards to the purpose of my life ; but 



my way was more unbalanced and erring than ever. 
I now sought a path to my end. . . . They [those who 
despised him] restored me to myself and left me . . . 
nothing but the word which I spoke in the first days of 
that overthrow, * / will turn schoolmaster '." 

After the publication of the Investigations follow ten 
years of silence so far as concerns Pestalozzi's pen. 
But meantime great events were happening in Switzer- 
land. The political teaching of Rousseau and others 
was finding expression in revolutionary reform. Pesta- 
lozzi was a democrat of the democrats and used his 
pen on the side of the people. The national govern- 
ment had been put into the hands of five men, who 
formed the *' Executive Directory". These were only 
too glad to make use of the services of the author of 
Leonard and Gertrude, and they made him editor of a 
journal designed to spread the knowledge of revolution- 
ary principles. 

The title of the paper was to be the Popular Swiss 
News : it was to be issued once a week ; and to be 
sent free to schoolmasters, clergymen and all Govern- 
ment officials, who received orders to read it and to 
explain its contents to others. It was an entirely 
official paper, published by the Directory at the request 
of the Great Council; and its programme was to 
inform the people as to the changes of Government : 
spread general enlightenment : and rally the people to 
the support of the united Government. The first 
number appeared on 8th September, 1798. 

But Pestalozzi had already offered his services for 
other work, nearer and dearer to his heart. On 21st 
May, 1798, he sent this letter to the Minister of 
Justice : — 


*' Citizen Minister, 

" Convinced that the country is in urgent 
need of some improvement in the education and schools 
of the people, and feeling certain that three or four 
months' experience would produce the most important 
results, I address myself, in the absence of Citizen 
Minister Stapfer, to Citizen Minister Meyer, to offer 
through him my services to the country, and to beg 
him to take the necessary steps with the Directory 
for the carrying out of my patriotic purposes. 
*'With republican greeting, 

" Pestalozzi." 

Thus ends another epoch of Pestalozzi's life ; a pe- 
riod which must have been filled with many an agony 
of despondency, despair and deprivation, only partly 
expressed by his statement in a letter to M. Zschokke. 
" Do you know that I have wanted the bare necessities ? 
Do you know that until now I have kept out of society, 
away from church, because I had neither clothes nor 
money to buy them ? O Zschokke, do you know that 
I am the laughing-stock of the passers-by because I 
look like a beggar ? Do you know that ? More than 
a thousand times I was obliged to go without dinner, 
and at noon, when even the poorest were seated around 
a table, I devoured a morsel of bread upon the high- 
way . . . and all this that I might minister to the needs 
of the poor, by the realisation of my principles." 

Yet, happily, even in these dark times there were bursts 
of glorious sunshine. His writings had made him, to 
a certain extent, famous. He visited Germany and be- 
came acquainted with Goethe, Wieland, Herder, Fichte 
and other great men, in 1792 ; and in the same year he 


was declared a " Citizen of the French RepubHc," in 
company with such men as Bentham, Tom Payne, 
Wilberforce, Clarkson, Washington, Madison, Klop- 
stock, Kozciusko, etc. Karl von Bonstetten asked 
Pestalozzi to live with him on his estate in Italian 
Switzerland ; the Austrian Minister of Finance, Count 
Zinzendorf, wished to have him in his neighbourhood ; 
and the Grand Duke of Tuscany desired to give him an 



One of the five Swiss Directors was Le Grand, who 
had been the friend and helper of Pastor Oberlin in his 
great educational work in the Ban de la Roche, and he 
was only too pleased to take Pestalozzi at his word. 
Arrangements were being made for Pestalozzi to open a 
school in the canton of Argovie when war put an end to 
the project. But though the war closed one opening 
it created another. On the gth of September, 1798, 
the town of Stanz was burnt by the French, and the 
people put to the sword with the greatest ferocity. 
Crowds of fatherless and motherless children wandered 
about destitute and homeless. Le Grand called upon 
Pestalozzi to go to the rescue of the orphans at Stanz. 
He gladly went. 

The regulations and aim of the institution — a poor- 
house— to be established are set forth in the decree 
issued by the Directory on the 5th of December, 1798. 
They are : " (i) The immediate control of the poor- 
house at Stanz is entrusted to Citizen Pestalozzi. (2) 
Children of both sexes, taken from among the poorest, 
and specially from the orphans in the Stanz district, 
will be received in it and brought up free of charge. (3) 
Children will not be received under the age of five 



years ; they will remain till they are fit to go into 
service, or to learn such a trade as cannot be taught to 
them in the institution. 

''(4) The poor-house will be conducted with all the 
care and economy that befits such an institution. It 
will be the rule that children shall be gradually led to 
take part in all the work necessary for the carrying on 
and support of the establishment. The time of the 
pupils will be divided between work in the fields, the 
house and the schoolroom. An endeavour will be made 
to develop in the pupils as much skill, and as many 
useful powers, as the funds of the institution will 
permit. So far as it is possible to do so without en- 
dangering the industrial ends which are to be aimed 
at, a few lessons will be given during the manual 

"(5) All the out-buildings of the women's convent at 
Stanz are to be given up to the work of the institution, 
and also a sufiicient portion of the adjoining meadow- 
land. The buildings will at once be repaired and fitted 
up for the accommodation of eighty pupils, in accord- 
ance with the plans drawn up by Citizen Schmid, of 
Lucerne. (6) For the founding of the asylum the 
Minister of the Interior will, once for all, place a sum of 
two hundred and forty pounds at the disposal of the 
Committee of the Poor " [Pestalozzi ; Truttman, the 
sub-prefect of Arth ; and Businger, the parish-priest of 
Stanz]. This decree was based upon a plan drawn up 
by Pestalozzi, and warmly approved by Stapfer, Reng- 
ger and Le Grand. 

The actual plan of work is given by Pestalozzi in a 
letter to Rengger: *' The hours of work and study are 
now fixed as follows : from six to eight, lessons ; then 


manual work till four in the afternoon ; then lessons 
again till eight ". This letter was written on the igth 
April, 1799. 

A very real interest was taken by Government in 
the institution, as is shown by the frequent reports con- 
cerning it, and by the fact that on the 24th of May, 
1799, Pestalozzi took all his children to Lucerne, where 
they were welcomed by the members of the Executive 
Directory. On this occasion each child received a 
silver coin as a present. 

While the convent was being built and as soon as a 
single room could be made use of, Pestalozzi received 
forty children — very soon after increased to eighty — 
and began his work. This was in January, 1799, in a 
time of severe cold. Here, in this one room in which 
master and pupils had to live both by day and night, 
was made an experiment in practical education the 
history of which will, probably, never die. For five 
months Pestalozzi worked like any slave and nearly 
killed himself by overwork. He was almost without 
help : *' I opened the establishment with no other 
helper than a woman-servant ". Nothing was pre- 
pared for the children : " Neither kitchen, rooms, nor 
beds were ready to receive them. At first this was a 
source of incredible trouble. For the first few weeks I 
was shut up in a very small room ; the weather was 
bad, and the alterations, which made a great dust and 
filled the corridors with rubbish, rendered the air very 
unhealthy. The want of beds compelled me at first to 
send some of the poor children home at night ; and they 
came back next day covered with vermin. 

" Most of them on their arrival were very degenerated 
specimens of humanity. Many of them had a sort of 


chronic skin-disease, which almost prevented their walk- 
ing ; or sores on their heads, or rags full of vermin ; many 
were almost skeletons with haggard, careworn faces 
and foreheads wrinkled with distrust and dread ; some 
brazen, accustomed to begging, hypocrisy, and all sorts 
of deceit ; others broken by misfortune, patient, but 
suspicious, timid, and entirely devoid of affection. There 
were some spoilt children amongst them who had known 
the sweets of comfort ; these were full of pretensions. 
They kept to themselves, regarding with disdain the 
little beggars who had become their comrades ; tolerat- 
ing this equality ; and quite unable to adapt themselves 
to the ways of the house, which differed too much from 
their old habits. 

" But what was common to them all was a persistent 
idleness, resulting from the want of any exercise of their 
bodily powers and the faculties of their intelligence. 
Out of every ten children there was hardly one who 
knew his ABC; as for any other knowledge, it was, of 
course, out of the question. . . . 

" I was alone with them from morning till night. It 
was from my hand that they received all that could do 
good to their souls and bodies. All needful help, con- 
solation and instruction they received directly from 
me. . . . We shared our food and drink. ... I was with 
them when they were strong and by their side when 
they were ill. I slept in their midst. I was the last to 
go to bed and the first to get up. When we retired to 
bed I prayed with them, and, at their own request, 
taught them till they fell asleep. Their clothes and 
bodies were intolerably filthy, but I looked after both 
myself, and was thus constantly exposed to the risk of 


Although sickness broke out amongst them, " on the 
return of spring it was evident to everybody that the 
children were doing well, growing rapidly, and gaining 
colour. Certain magistrates and ecclesiastics, who saw 
them some time afterwards, stated that they had im- 
proved almost beyond recognition." But, better still : 
*' I witnessed the growth of an inward strength in my 
children, which, in its general development far surpassed 
my expectations, and in its particular manifestations not 
only often surprised me, but touched me deeply. . . . My 
children soon became more open, more contented and 
more susceptible to every good and noble influence than 
any one could possibly have foreseen when they first 
came to me, so devoid were they of ideas, good feelings 
and moral principles. ... I had incomparably less 
trouble to develop those children whose minds were still 
blank, than those who had already acquired inaccurate 
ideas. . . . My pupils developed rapidly ; it was another 
race. . . . The children very soon felt that there existed 
in them forces which they did not know, and in par- 
ticular they acquired a general sentiment of order and 
beauty. They were self-conscious, and the impression 
of weariness which habitually reigns in schools vanished 
like a shadow from my classroom. They willed, they 
had power, they persevered, they succeeded, and they 
were happy." 

The kind of children with which Pestalozzi had to 
deal is shown in his report on them to the Directory ; 
e.g., " Jacob Baggenstoss, fifteen, of Stanzstad : father 
dead, mother living : good health, small capacity ; can 
do nothing more than spin cotton : accustomed to 
begging. . . . Gaspard Joseph Waser, eleven, of Stanz- 
stad : father living, mother dead : healthy, and of good 


abilities, rough detestable habits: does not know his 
ABC: cannot spin : accustomed to begging. . . . 
Mathias Odermatt, eight, of Stanz : father killed, mother 
living : deformed and sickly, weak and idle : knows noth- 
ing; poor. . . . Anna Josephine Amstad, fifteen, of Stanz: 
father dead, mother living : healthy, ordinary ability : 
can read a little : can spin : extremely poor. . . . Cather- 
ine Aieer, five, of Stanz : father killed, mother living : 
healthy, very good abilities: knows nothing: poor." 

His success with his pupils is testified by Truttman 
and Businger in their reports to the Directory. The 
former says : " The poor-house is doing well. Father 
Pestalozzi works persistently night and day. There are 
now sixty-two children who are boarded and employed 
all day in the establishment, though only fifty can stay 
at night, owing to insufficient beds. It is amazing to 
see all that this excellent man does and what great 
progress his pupils have made in so short a time. They 
are now eager for instruction." Businger says : *' The 
poor-house has started, and is going on well. Over 
seventy children have already been received, and every 
day brings more applicants for admission. Citizen 
Pestalozzi works unceasingly for the progress of the 
institution, and it is difficult to believe one's eyes and 
ears when one sees and hears all that his work has 
performed in so short a time." These reports, be it 
noted, were written the first on nth February, 1799, 
and the second in the same week ; whilst the first pupils 
were received into the establishment on 14th January, 

Truttman's opinions are not the less valuable because 
he was not Wind to Pestalozzi's weaknesses. On 25th 
March, 1799, he wrote to the minister as follows : " I 


must tell you frankly that the economical administration 
of the establishment, the classification of the children, 
both for instruction and manual work ; and the setting to 
work of the necessary superintendents and masters, can 
no longer be delayed without injury to this charitable 
institution. ... I admire the zeal of Citizen Pestalozzi, 
and his untiring and devoted activity for the institution ; 
this deserves honour and recognition ; but I foresee that 
he will not be able to carry out his ideas, nor to give the 
undertaking the carefully arranged development which 
is necessary for its success. Indeed, without a new 
organisation, which shall provide for all the various re- 
quirements of the institution, it cannot succeed. This 
excellent man has both firmness and gentleness, but un- 
fortunately he often uses them at the wrong time. . . . 
The establishment needs a larger staff." 

This work was done in the face of great opposition on the 
part of the parents, and much misunderstandingby others. 
Pestalozzi was accused of under-feeding the children ; 
being too severe with them ; and seeking only his own 
advantage. Children were persuaded to run away from 
the school, but not '* till they were free of their vermin 
and their rags ". As a Protestant, Pestalozzi was sus- 
pected of a design to convert the children, who were 
practically all Roman Catholics. Writing to his friend 
Gessner, he says : " You will hardly believe that it was 
the Capuchin friars and the nuns of the convent that 
showed the greatest sympathy with my work. Few 
people, except Truttman, took any active interest in it. 
Those from whom I had hoped most were too deeply 
engrossed with their high political affairs to think of our 
little institution as having the least degree of import- 


Just as the French army was the cause of the opening 
of the institution, so, five months later, it led to its 
being closed. Retreating before the Austrians they were 
in need of a hospital, and hearing that there was a large 
building at Stanz they turned Pestalozzi and his children 
out on 8th June, 1799, and took possession of the con- 
vent. Zschokke, the Government agent, says that 
Pestalozzi gave to each of the children who were sent 
away " a change of clothes, some linen, and a little 
money ". When the French departed, some of the 
children returned, and Zschokke on 28th June reported 
to Minister Rengger that "there still remain in the 
establishment twenty-two children of both sexes". 

This closing of the institution was a blessing in dis- 
guise for Pestalozzi himself. He was very ill and spit- 
ting blood. He went up the Gurnigel mountain, in the 
Bernese Oberland, where there was a medicinal spring. 
Of this visit he writes : " On the Gurnigel I enjoyed days 
of recreation. I required them ; it is a wonder that I 
am still alive. I shall not forget those days as long as 
I live : they saved me, but I could not live without my 
work." In spite of these facts he was much blamed for 
giving up the school at Stanz. 

How little for himself, yet how much for humanity, 
did he gain at Stanz. There he discovered that his ideas 
for the improvement of the people were not idle dreams. 
He says: " I had children at Stanz whose powers, not 
dulled by the weariness of unpsychological home and 
school discipline, developed very quickly. It was like 
another race. ... I saw the capacity of human nature, 
and its peculiarities, in full play — in many ways. Its 
defects were those of healthy nature, totally different 
from the faults caused by bad and artificial teaching — 


hopeless languishing and complete crippling of the 

" I saw in this combination of ignorance and un- 
schooled faculties a power of understanding, and a firm 
conception of the known and the seen of which our ABC 
puppets have no notion. 

" I learned from them — I must have been blind not to 
have learned — to know the natural relation which real 
knowledge bears to book-knowledge. I learnt from 
them what a handicap this one-sided letter-knowledge 
and entire reliance on words (which are only sound and 
noise when there is not something behind them) must 
be. I saw what a hindrance this may be to the real 
power of observation, and the firm conception of the 
objects which surround us. 

" Thus far I got at Stanz. I felt that my experiment 
proved the possibility of founding popular instruction 
on psychological grounds : of laying true knowledge, 
gained by sense-impression at the foundation of in- 
struction ; and of tearing away the mask of its shallow 
bombast. I felt that I could solve the problem to un- 
prejudiced and intelligent men : though, as I well knew, 
I could never enlighten the prejudiced crowd, who are 
like geese which, ever since they cracked the shell, have 
been confined in coop and shed, and have lost all power 
of flying and swimming " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

When he was sufficiently recovered from his illness 
he again began schoolwork. This time it was at Burg- 
dorf. Again he was beset with jealousy and misunder- 
standing ; so much so that it was only through the help 
of influential friends that he was allowed to work in a 
small school the master of which was a shoemaker. 
From this school the parents of the scholars and the 


shoemaker soon got him removed, and he was sent to 
a dame school where only children between four and 
eight years of age were admitted — an infants' school — 
and where they were taught only reading and writing. 
It was thought that, at any rate, he could do very little 
harm there. Says Pestalozzi : '' It was whispered that 
I myself could not write, nor work accounts, nor even 
read decently. Popular reports are not always entirely 
destitute of truth ; it is true I could not write, nor read, 
nor work accounts well." No : he could only think 
like a genius and work like a hero ! 

It is interesting, in this connection, to remember that 
when he wrote his Leonard and Gertrude it was " in- 
sufferably incorrect and unpolished," and " the want of 
orthographical accuracy" had to " be rectified ". At 
Neuhof he taught the children to work so well and 
quickly in arithmetic that he himself had to use a slate 
and pencil to check their answers. He had vowed to 
have done with books when he left college, and to learn 
through things and work. To this resolution he had 
firmly kept. He writes : " For these last thirty years 
I have read no book, nor have I been able to read any ; 
I had no language left for abstract notions ; in my mind 
there was nothing but living truths, brought to my 
consciousness in an intuitive manner, in the course of 
my experience ; but I was no more able to analyse those 
truths, than to bring to my recollection the details of 
the observations by which I had been led to their dis- 
covery ". These passages must, of course, be interpreted 
by what we know of his education and training, and his 
life-work thus far. 

In this small infants' school of twenty-five children, 
where the amiable indifference of the good old dame 


left him a free hand, Pestalo^zi was thoroughly at 
home. His genius and his fatherly methods were in 
suitable surroundings, and his work was a triumphant 
success. After eight months' work the Burgdorf School 
Commission examined the children, and then wrote this 
public letter to Pestalozzi : ''The surprising progress 
of your little scholars of various capacities shows plainly 
that every one is good for something, if the teacher 
knows how to get at his abilities and develop them ac- 
cording to the laws of psychology. By your method of 
teaching you have proved how to lay the groundwork of 
instruction in such a way that it may afterwards sup- 
port what is built on it. . . . Between the ages of five and 
eight, a period in which according to the system of 
torture enforced hitherto, children have learnt to know 
their letters, to spell and read, your scholars have not 
only accomplished all this with a success as yet un- 
known, but the best of them have already distinguished 
themselves by their good writing, drawing and calculat- 
ing. In them all you have been able so to arouse and 
excite a liking for history, natural history, mensuration, 
geography, etc., that thus future teachers must find 
their task a far easier one if they only know how to 
make good use of the preparatory stage the children 
have gone through with you." Further, his plan of 
instruction " could be applied during the earliest years 
at which instruction could be given in the family circle : 
by a mother, by a child who was a little older than the 
beginner, or by an intelligent servant whilst doing her 
household work ". All of which was doubtless the report 
of the School Commission, but the voice is the voice of 
Pestalozzi and the words are his words— the commis- 
sioners doubtless saw enough to believe in Pestalozzi, 



and then, like wise men, were content to let him speak 
through them. 

Soon after the issue of this report Pestalozzi was 
appointed master of the second boys' school of Burgdorf. 
Here he did not succeed so well ; and soon had to resign 
owing to a pulmonary attack. When well enough to 
resume work he obtained such effectual help from some 
of his friends in office that the Helvetic Government 
granted him the use of the castle at Burgdorf for a 
school — M. Fischer having died. He managed — thanks 
to the help of the "Society of the Friends of Education," 
which had been founded, on the initiative of Stapfer, for 
the purpose of promoting Pestalozzi's work — to raise a 
loan for preparing and furnishing the building and, to- 
wards the end of 1799, opened an educational establish- 
ment. In this he was assisted by M. Kriisi, a village 
schoolmaster — then twenty-five years of age — who had 
shortlybeforecometo Burgdorf with twenty-eight orphans, 
whose parents were the victims of the Austro-Russian 
and French war. Kriisi had continued to teach these 
children in a day-school in the castle at Burgdorf, under 
the superintendence of M. Fischer, Secretary to the 
Helvetian Minister of Public Instruction, who had been 
sent by the Government to open a training college for 
teachers in the castle, but, owing to the necessary funds 
not being supplied, had been unable to do so. M. Fischer 
became greatly interested in Pestalozzi's theories and 
work ; had many talks with him ; and was the means 
of bringing him and Kriisi together. 

Pestalozzi was to conduct a boarding-school for the 
children of the well-to-do people, and Kriisi was to con- 
tinue his day-school. In a letter (February, 1801) to the 
central Government at Bern he declares his aims to be : — 


(i) To pursue the development, as experience should 
suggest, of his methods in the different branches of 
public and private education ; 

(2) To publish the results of his researches and 
experiments, and to write, for the guidance of well- 
meaning parents and teachers, such manuals as would 
enable them to carry out his plans of instruction ; 

(3) To train teachers in the theory and practice of 
his work so that they should be wise and skilful therein. 

The means by which he proposed to carry out these 
objects were : — 

(i) The day-school at Burgdorf, of which Kriisi's 
orphans were the nucleus ; 

(2) The boarding-school just started, which was de- 
signed for children of the middle and higher classes ; 

(3) A teachers' training college (normal school) such 
as had been proposed under M. Fischer ; and 

(4) An orphan asylum — to be supported by private 
subscriptions, and the profits, if any, from the boarding- 
school, and the sale of books. 

Assisted by two other teachers, Pestalozzi and Kriisi 
soon began successfully to realise these aims and ends. 
On the first day of the year 1801, at the request of his 
friend Gessner, a bookseller of Zurich, he wrote an 
account of his experiments and work up to this point 
under the title : How Gertrude Teaches her Children ; an 
A ttempt to give Directions to Mothers how to Instruct their 
own Children. This is really an autobiography and ex- 
position of his theories. There is no Gertrude, other 
than Pestalozzi himself; and there are no children, 
other than all children. With the contents of this 
book we shall deal later. It was published in October, 



1801 ; attracted much attention ; made many converts ; 
and led several enthusiasts to go to Burgdorf to see 
Pestalozzi and study his work. 

Besides this, perhaps the most profound and import- 
ant of his writings, the following books were issued 
from the institution at Burgdorf: (i) Help for Teaching 
Spelling and Reading (1801) ; (2) Pestalozzi' s Elementary 
Books (iSo^), in six parts, viz., (a) The ABC of Intuition, 
or Intuitive-instruction in the Relations of Number (three 
parts) ; {h) Intuitive-instruction in the Relations of Dimen- 
sions (two parts) ; and (c) The Mothers' Manual, or Guide to 
Mothers in Teaching their Children how to Observe and Thijtk 
(one part). The last three {a, b and c) are teachers' 
handbooks on the elements of arithmetic, geometry 
and language. It has been said of them that those 
who really needed such books would, by the aid of 
the books themselves, neither understand the prin- 
ciples nor use the exercises properly ; whilst those who 
understood the principles and exercises would not need 
the books. 

The whole work of teaching, and writing the text- 
books, was carried on by Pestalozzi and three assistants, 
viz., Kriisi, of whom we have already spoken ; Tobler, 
who was invited by Pestalozzi, at Kriisi's suggestion, 
to help him in the teaching of writing ; and Buss, who 
was asked by Tobler, at the suggestion of Kriisi, to 
assist Pestalozzi in the teaching of drawing. 

Their school-work was inspected by a commission 
appointed by the " Society of the Friends of Education " 
• — which financed Pestalozzi — in whose report are these 
remarks: " The first thing we noticed was that Pesta- 
lozzi's pupils learn to spell, read, write and calculate 
quickly and well, achieving in six months results which 


an ordinary village schoolmaster's pupils would hardly 
attain in three years. It is true that schoolmasters are 
not usually men like Pestalozzi, nor do they discover 
assistants like those of our friend. But it appears to 
us that this extraordinary progress depends less upon 
the teachers than the method of teaching. . . . 

" Who does not know how ready the youngest 
children are to give everything a name ; to put things 
together, and then to take them to pieces again, for 
the sake of fresh re-arrangements ? Who does not 
remember that he preferred drawing to writing ? Who 
does not know that the most unlearned men are often 
the quickest at mental reckonings ? Who does not 
know that children, both boys and girls, delight — almost 
as soon as they can walk — in playing at soldiers, and 
in other forms of exercise ? 

*' It is on these simple and well-known facts that 
Pestalozzi bases his method of instruction. Were it 
not for the fact that teachers are daily making the same 
mistakes as others made before them, we should feel 
inclined to inquire how it is that such an idea never 
occurred to any one before." 

An independent witness, a visitor to the institution — 
Charles Victor von Bonstetten — says: "His children 
have learned, in from six to ten months, writing, read- 
ing, drawing, and a little geography and French, and 
have also made astonishing progress in arithmetic. 
They do everything cheerfully ; and their health seems 
perfect. ... I look upon Pestalozzi's method as a 
precious seed, still young and undeveloped, but full of 
promise. The success the method has already obtained 
should suffice to convince any impartial thinker of its 
excellence, . . , 


" The children know Httle, but what they know they 
know well. In my opinion, there could be nothing better 
than the Burgdorf school for children of eight or nine. 
. . . The children are very happy, and obviously take 
great pleasure in their lessons : which says a great deal 
for the method." 

A Nuremberg merchant, though at first prejudiced 
against the work, is compelled to testify thus : *' I was 
amazed when I saw children treating the most com- 
plex calculations of fractions as the simplest matter in 
the world. Problems which I myself could not solve 
without careful work on paper, they did easily in their 
heads, giving the correct answer in a few moments, and 
explaining the method of working with ease and facility. 
They seemed quite unconscious of having done any- 
thing extraordinary." 

The school was inspected by a public commission, 
appointed by the local Council, in June, 1802. Their 
report was drawn up by Ith, the President of the Bern 
Council of Public Education. This report first deals 
with Pestalozzi's principles, and declares that he ''has 
discovered the real and universal laws of all elementary 
teaching ". The moral and religious life of the es- 
tablishment receives special praise ; as does the disci- 
pline, which, it is remarked, is entirely based upon 

M. Soyaux, of Berlin, who visited the institution in 
August, 1802, thus speaks of certain points about it, in 
a pamphlet which he wrote : " His discipline is based 
upon the principle that children must be allowed the 
greatest possible liberty, and that only when they take 
advantage of this liberty must they be interfered with. 
, . . They are taught by ten masters, There are alsg 


a certain number of foreigners at the castle, who are 
there to study the method. 

'* The institute is young, and Pestalozzi's principles 
are still undergoing development. As they are not yet 
mature, it causes the organisation of the establishment 
to be still incomplete. Director and assistants are 
working with all their power to perfect the undertak- 
ing. One tries to improve certain appliances ; another 
strives to find a natural way of teaching reading, 
number, etc. Would that all educational institutions 
presented such a picture of concord and harmony, and 
showed the same zeal in advancing from progress to 

At Burgdorf Pestalozzi reached the highest point of 
his success as a teacher and educationist, though not of 
his fame. His popularity amongst his own people also 
was at its greatest. On this popularity Dr. Biber re- 
marks : " It is a fact, of which the life of almost every 
distinguished man affords evidence, that the great mass 
of the public, dull of comprehension and slow to 
acknowledge merit, is in the same proportion unintelli- 
gently lavish of its admiration, as soon as a man has 
safely crossed the line of public opinion, and gone 
through the ordeal of the critical ' sailor's dip '. This 
proved to be the case with Pestalozzi. He who had 
been an object of commiseration among philanthropic 
wiseacres, and the butt of every bad joke from the lips 
of the thoughtless and the unfeeling, was now extolled 
to the skies as the man of the age ; and so high ran the 
tide of popularity in his favour, that he was chosen to 
be one of the deputies sent to Paris in 1802, pursuant 
to a proclamation of the French Consul, in order to 
frame a new constitution which should unite the con- 


Aiding interests of Switzerland, and put a stop to its 
internal dissensions." As a matter of fact he was 
elected by one canton and one town. 

Before his departure for Paris he published a politi- 
cal pamphlet entitled Views on the Objects to which the 
Legislature of Helvetia has chiefly to direct its attention, 
in which he put forward some wise and moderate 
views for reform and the remedy of existing evils. At 
Paris he tried to interest Napoleon and his chief 
ministers in his educational work, but the First Con- 
sul declined to see him, and declared that he could 
not be bothered about questions of A B C. On his 
return to Burgdorf, Pestalozzi is said to have remarked 
on being asked, "Did you see Bonaparte?" — "No, 
I did not see Bonaparte ; and Bonaparte did not see 

The outcome of the visit of the Swiss deputies to 
Paris was that the form of government of their country 
was changed; the " Executive Directory" of five mem- 
bers was dissolved; an annual assembly of deputies (with 
limited powers) substituted ; and large powers of self- 
government restored to the cantons — the Act of Media- 
tion. Two results of the new order of things were that 
Pestalozzi was turned out, on 22nd August, 1804, of 
the castle at Burgdorf, which was required for the 
canton Government offices ; and there was no longer 
any central national authority to assist him in his 
work. However, several towns made generous offers 
to him if he would go to them with his school. The 
canton De Vaud gave him the choice of several castles, 
which had previously been the residences of deputy 
governors. The Government of the canton of Bern 
offered Pestalozzi the use of the old Johanniter monas- 


tery at Munchen Buchsee — a few miles north-west of 
Bern, and near to Fellenberg's school. 

Pestalozzi decided to take his upper school to Yverdon, 
and to send his lower school to Munchen Buchsee ; since 
he only had the promise of one year's tenancy of the 
old monastery. It was arranged — by his staff, and ap- 
parently without his knowledge, in the first instance — 
that de Fellenberg should have the practical control of 
the institution, while Pestalozzi was to act as educa- 
tional adviser. This he says "was not without my 
consent, but to my profound mortification ". It was 
impossible that such an arrangement for such a man 
as Pestalozzi could turn out well. Soon differences 
and difficulties arose between Pestalozzi and de Fellen- 

Finally the whole of the members of the institution at 
Burgdorf were transferred to Yverdon, and were glad to 
be once more under the care of "Father Pestalozzi". 
The teachers declared that they preferred the want of 
government under him to the good government of de 
Fellenberg — the "man of iron" as Pestalozzi called 

Ramsauer says of his stay at Munchen Buchsee : " I 
was unhappy for the first time in my life. I was still 
table-boy [servitor, i.e., one paying for his schooling by 
certain domestic services] and under-master, but I had 
nobody to comfort my heart. We missed more than 
anything else the love and warmth which vivified every- 
thing at Burgdorf, and made everybody so happy. With 
Pestalozzi himself it was the heart which dominated 
everything : with Fellenberg the mind. Nevertheless, 
Munchen Buchsee had its good points too — there was 
more order there, and we learned more than at Burgdorf, 


" In February, 1805, to my great delight, Pestalozzi 
sent for me to go back to him at Yverdon, where I once 
more found a father's affection and my dear masters Kriisi 
and Buss. A few months later the whole institute had 
rejoined Pestalozzi at Yverdon Castle." 


YVERDON, 1805-1825. 

At Yverdon Pestalozzi reached the summit of his fame 
and found the grave of his practical work. In the 
institute at Yverdon the large scheme which had been 
drawn up for Burgdorf was not attempted, but all efforts 
were concentrated on the education of the pupils who 
came to the castle, with the result that greater success 
than ever before was, at first, obtained. Pupils came 
from England, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and 
Spain. Deputations were sent from many countries to 
study and report on the work. Private individuals went 
from all parts, some taking pupils with them, to see the 
great things which were being done. Amongst these 
were Froebel (with pupils), Herbart, Dr. Mayo (founder 
of the famous Pestalozzian school at Cheam — with 
pupils). Dr. Bell (author of The Madras System), Robert 
Owen, Lord Brougham, Karl von Raumer (the great 
German historian of education — with a pupil), Karl 
Ritter, M. Jullien (writer on Pestalozzi's work), M. 
Guillaume (biographer of Pestalozzi), Miss Edgeworth 
(author of Practical Education) and many others. 
The Emperor of Russia sent him this letter : — 


'' The method of teaching pointed out in your 
works, and practised in the institute of which you are 



the founder, have appeared to me in every way calculated 
to extend true knowledge and to produce enlightened in- 
structors. Having made myself acquainted with the 
results daily obtained by you, I have been able fully to 
appreciate the utility of your labours. I feel pleasure in 
being able to give you some distinguished proof of the in- 
terest with which I have viewed so valuable an under- 
taking, by creating you a Chevalier of the Order of St. 
Wladimir of the fourth class, of which I herewith send 
you the decoration, accompanied with the assurance of 
my consideration. 

"(Signed) Alexander. 

*'Novr. i6, 1814." 

The Prussian Government sent seventeen young men 
for a three years' course, to be trained as teachers ; so 
that, as the Minister writes to Pestalozzi : " They will 
be prepared not only in mind and judgment, but also in 
heart, for the noble vocation which they are to follow, 
and will be filled with a sense of the holiness of their 
task, and with new zeal for the work to which you have 
devoted your life ". Fichte, in his Addresses to the German 
Nation, delivered in Berlin in 1807-8, declared that only 
through an efficient system of national education could 
national regeneration come ; and when asked which 
existing institution of the actual world could do such a 
work, he replied : " The course of instruction which has 
been invented and brought forward by Henry Pestalozzi, 
and which is now being successfully carried out under 
his direction ". This was spoken in no spirit of unquali- 
fied praise, for he did not hesitate to criticise adversely 
several points in Pestalozzi's schemes. 

About the same time the Queen of Prussia wrote, iq 


her private diary : '' I am Yea.dmg Leonard and Gertrude, 
and I delight in being transported into the Swiss village. 
If I could do as I liked I should take a carriage and 
start for Switzerland to see Pestalozzi ; I should warmly 
shake him by the hand, and, my eyes filled with tears, 
would speak my gratitude. With what goodness, with 
what zeal, he labours for the welfare of his fellow- 
creatures ! Yes, in the name of humanity, I thank him 
with all my heart." 

Dr. Biber thus describes the inner life of the institute 
during the earlier years at Yverdon : ** Persons of the 
most different gifts and abilities, and of the most 
opposite characters, were united together by the un- 
affected love which Pestalozzi, in years a man verging 
on the grave, but in heart and mind a genuine child, 
seemed to breathe out continually, and to impart to all 
that came within his circle. His children forgot that 
they had any other home, his teachers that there was any 
world beside the institution. Even the eldest members 
of this great family, men who had attained all the 
maturity of manhood, venerated Pestalozzi with all the 
reverence of true filial affection, and cherished towards 
each other a genuine brotherly feeling. . . . 

" Teachers and children were entirely amalgamated : 
they not only slept in the same rooms, and shared to- 
gether all the enjoyments and labours of the day ; but 
they were on a footing of perfect ease and familiarity. 
There was no pedantic superiority, no foppery of con- 
descension, on the part of the teacher ; nor was there in 
the pupils the slavish humility of fear, or the arrogant pre- 
sumption of an equaHty which does not exist in the 
nature of things. The same man that read a lecture 
on history one hour, would, perhaps, in the next sit on 


the same form with his pupils in a lesson of arithmetic 
or geometry ; nay he would, without compromising his 
dignity, request their assistance, and receive their help. 
Such facts were of daily occurrence in a house to which 
every one was a teacher of what he knew, and every 
one, even the head himself, a learner of what he knew 
not. [Froebel used thus to sit as a pupil amongst the 

" Pestalozzi's example operated like a spell ; and his 
teachers submitted in his house to arrangements which 
the same men, perhaps, would nowhere else have been 
able to endure. They had the immediate inspection of 
the different apartments, nay of the beds and clothes, as 
well as of the books of the children. In the morning 
every teacher assisted those that were especially com- 
mitted to his care, as far as their age might require it, 
in washing and dressing themselves ; which being done, 
he conducted them to the great hall, where the whole 
family was assembled for morning service. During the 
day he lost sight of them only while they were engaged 
in lessons with other teachers; but at meals, and in the 
hours of recreation, he joined them again ; he partici- 
pated in their plays, accompanied them in their walks, 
and at the close of the day, followed them again to 
evening prayers, and thence to bed. Yet in all this, 
there was on the part of the pupils perfect freedom ; 
they were not forced to be with their teacher : but their 
teacher was always ready to be with them ; and as his 
presence imposed upon them no artificial restraint, they 
delighted in his company." 

The actual order of the day for the pupils was : " In 
the morning, half an hour before six the signal was given 
for getting up. Six o'clock found the pupils ready for 


their first lesson, after which they were assembled for 
morning prayer. Between this and breakfast the 
children had time left them for preparing themselves for 
the day ; and at eight o'clock they were again called to 
their lessons, which continued, with the interruption of 
from five to seven minutes' recreation between every 
two hours, till twelve o'clock. Half an hour later 
dinner was served up, and afterwards the children 
allowed to take moderate exercise till half-past two ; 
when the afternoon lessons began, and were con- 
tinued till half-past four. From half-past four till five 
there was another interval of recreation, during which 
the children had fruit and bread distributed to them. 
At five the lessons were resumed till the time of 
supper, at eight o'clock, after which, the evening prayer 
having been held, they were conducted to bed about 

"The hours of recreation were mostly spent in inno- 
cent games on a fine common, situated between the 
castle and the lake, and crossed in different directions 
by beautiful avenues of chestnut and poplar trees. On 
Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, if the weather per- 
mitted it, excursions of several miles were made through 
the beautiful scenery of the surrounding country. In 
summer the children went frequently to bathe in the 
lake, the borders of which offered, in winter, fine op- 
portunities for skating. 

" In bad weather they resorted to gymnastic exercises 
in a large hall expressly fitted up for that purpose. This 
constant attention to regular bodily exercise, together 
with the excellent climate of Yverdon, and the sim- 
plicity of their mode of living, proved so effectual in 
preserving the health of the children, that illness of 


any kind made its appearance but very rarely, notwith- 
standing the number of pupils amounted at one time 
to upwards of a hundred and eighty." 

Professor Vulliemin, in his recollections of the time 
he spent as a pupil under Pestalozzi at Yverdon, says : 
" It [the castle] was built in the shape of a huge square, 
and its great rooms and courts were admirably adapted 
for the games as well as the studies of a large school. 
Within its walls were assembled from a hundred and 
fifty to two hundred children of all nations, who divided 
their time between lessons and happy play. It often 
happened that a game of prisoner's base, begun in the 
castle court, would be finished on the grass near the 
lake. In winter we used to make a mighty snow- 
fortress, which was attacked and defended with equal 

"Early every morning we went in turns and had 
a shower of cold water thrown over us. We were 
generally bare-headed, but once, when a bitterly cold 
wind was blowing, my father took pity on m.e, and 
gave me a hat. My companions no sooner saw it 
than they raised the shout, ' A hat, a hat ! ' It 
was quickly knocked off my head, and a hundred 
hands sent it flying about the playground and corri- 
dors, till at last it went spinning through a window and 
fell into the river that flows by the walls of the castle. 
It was carried away to the lake and I never saw it 

" Our masters were for the most part young men, 
and nearly all ' sons of the revolution,' who had grown 
up around Pestalozzi, their father and ours. There 
were, indeed, a few educated men and scholars who 
had come to share his task ; but, taken altogether. 


there was not much learning. I myself heard Pesta- 
lozzi boast, when an old man, of not having read any- 
thing for forty years. Nor did our masters, his first 
pupils, read much more than Pestalozzi himself. Their 
teaching was addressed to the understanding rather 
than the memory, and had for its aim the harmonious 
cultivation of the germs implanted in us by Providence. 
' Make it your aim to develop the child,' Pestalozzi was 
never tired of repeating, ' and do not merely train him 
as you would train a dog, and as so many children in 
our schools are often trained.' 

" Our studies were almost entirely based on num- 
ber, form and language. Language was taught us 
by the help of sense-impression ; we were taught to 
see correctly, and in that way to form for ourselves a 
just idea of the relations of things. What we had 
thoroughly understood we had no trouble to express 

" We had to discover the truths of geometry for our- 
selves. After being once put in the way of it, the end 
to be reached was pointed out to us, and we were left 
to work alone. It was the same with arithmetic, which 
we did aloud, without paper. Some of us became 
wonderfully quick at this, and as charlatanism pene- 
trates everywhere, these only were brought before the 
numerous strangers that the name of Pestalozzi daily 
attracted to Yverdon. We were told over and over 
again that a great work was going on in our midst, 
that the eyes of the world were upon us, and we readily 
believed it." 

De Guimps gives this account of the daily routine, 
etc., for the boys: ''At seven o'clock, after the first 
lesson, the pupils washed themselves in the courtyard, 



The water, pumped from the well, ran through a long 
pipe with holes on both sides, from which each child 
received a pure, fresh stream— jugs and basins being 
unknown. After our toilet came breakfast, consisting 
of soup. Lessons began again at eight. At ten came 
an interval for rest, when any one who was hungry 
could get dried fruit and bread from Mrs. Kriisi. At 
noon there was an hour's recreation for bathing or 
prisoner's base on the grass behind the lake. At one 
o'clock dinner of soup, meat and vegetables. Lessons 
again from half-past one to half-past four. Then the 
afternoon meal ; either of cheese, fruit, or bread-and- 
butter. Each could take his share away with him, and 
eat it where he liked during the play-hour, which 
lasted till six o'clock, and which was passed, when the 
weather was fine, either behind the lake or in the large 
garden adjoining the castle, where every child has his 
own little garden plot. From six to eight o'clock more 
lessons, and then supper, which was much the same as 
dinner. . . . The food, though not very delicately pre- 
pared, was plain, wholesome and abundant. ... 

"The pupils were allowed very considerable liberty. 
As the two doors of the castle were open all day, and 
there was no porter, they could go in and out at all 
hours as if they were at home, and they did not abuse 
this freedom. The lessons generally lasted ten hours a 
day. No one lesson was longer than an hour, and they 
were all followed by a short interval, during which the 
classes usually changed rooms. Some of the lessons 
consisted of gymnastic exercises, or some sort of 
manual work, such as cardboard work or gardening. 
The last hour of the day was a free hour, given up to 
what the pupils called their own work. They could do 


anything they wished — draw, read geography, write 
letters, or arrange their note-books. . . . 

" Pestalozzi's rooms were on the second floor of the 
north front. He often invited the masters there to take 
coffee with him, and not infrequently held receptions 
in the evening, to which some of the pupils were 
asked. . . . The end of the year was devoted to making 
New Year albums to send to parents, containing 
drawings, maps, mathematical problems, fragments of 
history, descriptions of natural objects, and literary 
compositions. On New Year's day . . . the pupils of 
each class decorated their room, transforming it into a 
woodland scene, with cottage, chapel, ruins, and some- 
times a fountain, which was so arranged as to play when 
Pestalozzi came in. Fir-branches, ivy and moss were 
fetched in large quantities from the neighbouring forests, 
and transparencies, with emblems and inscriptions, 
were secretly prepared ; for the decoration of each room 
was to be a surprise, not only to Pestalozzi, but to the 
pupils of the other classes. Songs were also sung in 
honour of Pestalozzi. The principal idea in most of the 
inscriptions was : * In summer you take us to see 
nature : to-day we try to bring nature to see you '. 
Frequently, on this day, the pupils performed a 
dramatic piece, the subject generally being one of the 
great episodes from Swiss history of mediaeval times. 
For these plays the actors made their own costumes 
and weapons from coloured paper and cardboard." 

The following extracts from the diary of Merian, of 
Basle, a pupil from 1806 to 1810, give a peep into the 
domestic life at the castle : — 

" I2th Jan., 1808. — Pestalozzi's birthday festival. At 
the end of the day the richer pupils made a collection 



amongst themselves for the poor of the town of Yverdon. 
Mrs. Pestalozzi and Mrs. Kuster took charge of the 
money, which amounted to four pounds. . . . 

"30th Sept., 1809. — To-day is the fortieth anni- 
versary of Father Pestalozzi's marriage. Great rejoic- 
ings ; discourse by Niederer; beautiful songs sung, 
room decorated with garlands. Grand supper for three 
hundred people in five rooms. Afterwards dancing, 
opened by Mr. and Mrs. Pestalozzi alone, in the old- 
fashioned way." 

The curriculum included ancient and modern lan- 
guages, geography, natural history, physical science, 
mathematics, drawing, singing, history and religion. 
Not all of these were taught according to the reformed 
methods of Pestalozzi, but only geography, mathe- 
matics, spelling, perspective drawing and singing. 
Pestalozzi's Elementary Books were here used only 
for beginners, and the individual teachers were left to 
apply the principles to their own teaching so as to make 
their instruction more and more " mentally intuitive ". 
Some of the courses which were thus worked out by the 
teachers themselves were published in the form of 
manuals on arithmetic, geometry and perspective 
drawing — by Kriisi, Ladomus, Ramsauer and others. 
One such manual was published in Dublin in 1821, and 
has this title-page: ^^ Intuitive Mental Arithmetic ^ 
theoretical and practical, on the principles of H. 
Pestalozzi, by L. Du Puget, late a student and teacher, 
at his institute, at Yverdon, in Switzerland, and, at 
present, a master in the establishment at Abbeyleix, in 
Ireland ". In the preface is this interesting paragraph : 
" It may be necessary to give the meaning of the word 
Intuition as used in this work. In Qi;"de?- to fix the 


attention of the children and to give them clear ideas 
of number, it has been found extremely useful to 
calculate with pebbles, beans, marbles, etc., and this has 
been termed the teaching of Intuition or the Intuitive 

Certain books drawn up by Joseph Schmid (the 
mathematical teacher of the institute), and approved by 
Pestalozzi and his staff, are practically authorised and 
improved editions of the Elementary Books. These were 
intended to be aids for teachers, and included : (i) The 
Elements of Drawing ; (2) The Elements of Form and 
Size, commonly called Geometry (in three parts) ; (3) The 
Elements of Number, forming the basis of Algebra ; (4) 
The Elements of Algebra ; and (5) Application of Number 
to Space, Time, Value and Ciphers. A book on similar 
lines, a Manual of Elementary Geography, was published 
by Henning (a biographer of Pestalozzi), one of the 
young men sent from Prussia to be trained under 
Pestalozzi. Pfeiffer and Nageli, both teachers at the 
institute, drew up a series of exercises in singing, 
together with some simple tunes specially written for 
an educational course. 

The results of the curriculum were necessarily bad. 
As Raumer says : ** Most of the teachers of the institu- 
tion might be regarded as so many separate and inde- 
pendent teachers, who had indeed received their first 
instruction there, but who had passed much too soon 
from learning to teaching, and wished to see how they 
could fight their way through. There was never any 
such thing as a real pedagogical lecture. Under such 
a course of training, it could not happen otherwise than 
that some of the teachers should strike into peculiar 
paths ; of this Schmid gave an example. But it was 


an equally necessary consequence that the usual 
characteristic of such teachers should make itself ap- 
parent : namely, a great want of self-knowledge and 
of a proper modest estimate of their own labours. 

" ' Man only learns to know himself in man.' I must 
know what others have done in my department of 
science, in order that I may assign the proper place 
and rank to my own labours. It is incredible how many 
of the mistaken views and practices of Pestalozzi and 
his teachers sprang from this source." 

At the other extreme was the work of the subordinate 
teachers. These were supposed rigidly to follow the 
Elementary Books, neither subtracting from nor adding 
to them. Moreover, though they worked willingly and 
for the love of Pestalozzi, and the work's sake, they 
were sadly overworked. Ramsauer — who was first a 
boy under Pestalozzi at Burgdorf, and later one of his 
most loyal and devoted assistants — thus describes the 
teachers' work: "They were to help to bear every 
burden, every unpleasantness, every domestic care, and 
to be responsible for everything. Thus, for example, 
in their leisure hours (that is, when they had no lessons 
to give) they were required at one time to work some 
hours every day in the garden, at another to chop wood 
for the fire, and, for some time, even to light them in 
the morning, or transcribe, etc. ; there were some years 
in which no one of us was found in bed after three 
o'clock in the morning ; and we had to work, summer 
and winter, from three in the morning till six in the 
evening." Ramsauer's own time-table shows that he 
was almost wholly occupied with official duties from 
two or three o'clock in the morning till nine in the 


De Guimps tells us that " the youngest masters, who 
were generally Burgdorf pupils, were in charge out of 
school. They slept in the dormitories, and, in recrea- 
tion time, played with the pupils with as much enjoy- 
ment as the children themselves. They worked in the 
garden with them, bathed with them, walked with 
them, and were in every respect on the friendliest 
terms with them. They were divided into sets, each 
set taking its turn every third day, for this superintend- 
ence kept them busy from morning till night. . . . The 
week's work was reviewed at a general meeting of the 
teachers every Saturday. . . . 

" When we consider the material conditions of the 
life of the masters in the Yverdon institute we can have 
no doubt either of their devotion to Pestalozzi and his 
work or of the lofty and disinterested motives which first 
attracted them to him, and then kept them with him. 
Their lodging was even more primitive than their living. 
Some of the oldest of them lived outside the castle, but 
the rest had not even a private room, and when they 
wanted to work alone, they had to construct little 
wooden cabins in the upper, uninhabited storeys of the 
round towers which crowned the four corners of the old 

To endure such labour and conditions of labour was 
indeed a tribute to their own worth ; and not less to 
the fine influence of Pestalozzi. As Dr. Biber remarks : 
'* To render them fit and willing to fill their stations in 
this manner, required ... a deep sense to be awakened 
within them of the exalted and responsible character 
of their office, and their zeal needed persevering en- 
couragement from the highest motives. For this pur- 
pose, Pestalozzi endeavoured to make the teaching of 


others a source of instruction : the government of others 
a means of moral improvement to themselves. On two 
evenings in the week he met all the teachers, except 
such as were at the time necessarily engaged with the 
pupils, in a general assembly, alternately devoted to 
the general means of instruction and discipline, and of 
the individual state of each pupil." 

Another serious practical difficulty was the fact that 
two different languages had to be spoken. In i8og, of 
the pupils about sixty per cent, were Swiss, the remainder 
being made up of Germans, French, Russians, Italians, 
Spaniards, Americans and English. There were fifteen 
teachers, nine of whom were Swiss; and thirty-two 
persons who were studying Pestalozzi's method, seven 
of whom were natives of Switzerland. Raumer writes : 
"With such a medley of children, the institution was 
devoid of a predominant mother-tongue, and assumed 
the mongrel character of a border-province. Pestalozzi 
read the prayers every morning and evening, first in 
German, then in French ! At the lessons in the German 
language, intended for German children, I found French 
children who did not understand the most common 
German word." Dr. Mayo, speaking of several English- 
men who were staying at the institute, writes: "We 
rise between six and seven, prayers at seven, soon after 
breakfast in a large room, just when we please to go 
there. Some of the masters drop in, in the same way, 
and English, French, German and Latin are perhaps 
all talked in succession." 

Still more difficult was it to carry out a system of 
education based upon the principle that the pupil must 
be taught in such a way that at every step of his 
development the instruction is exactly suited to his 


needs, when pupils were admitted at all ages ; in all 
conditions of advancement ; and with every variety of 
previous training. What the principle required was 
that the pupil should begin, continue and end his 
education under the influence of the system. It was 
impossible to uproot the bad habits of many years 
of wrong training, and begin everything afresh. The 
attempt to pour new wine into old bottles had its 
inevitable result. 

Added to these obstacles to thorough and successful 
work were the interruptions and distractions of many 
visitors. Ramsauer says : *' It was nothing unusual 
in summer for strangers to come to the castle four or 
five times in the same day, and for us to have to interrupt 
the instruction to expound the method to them ". Writ- 
ing from Yverdon, on 25th September, 1819, Dr. Mayo 
says: ''We have had a great many English here 
lately. I spent the whole day with them, showing 
them the institution in the morning." These visitors 
included Lord and Lady Elgin and family (" a troop of 
Elgins "), Lady Ellenborough ("with a large party"), 
" an old Oxford friend," " several young men," and 
others. Pupils were sometimes taken to the hotel at 
which an important personage was staying, so that a 
demonstration might be given to him. 

Again, it is neither unkind nor unfair to say that both 
Pestalozzi and his staff were somewhat overcome by 
the royal and exalted approval and patronage which 
their work received, and by the almost universal applause 
showered upon it. They seem almost to have thought 
themselves as wise and wonderful as their ignorant 
(educationally) and impulsive admirers deemed them ; 
and they developed the pride which goes before a fall. 


Pestalozzi himself speaks of '* the great delusion under 
which we lay at that period, namely, that all those things 
in regard to which we had strong intentions and some 
clear ideas, were really as they ought to have been, and 
as we should have liked to make them. . . . We an- 
nounced publicly things which we had neither the 
strength nor the means to accomplish. There are 
hundreds and hundreds of these vain boastings of which 
I do not like to speak." 

The enemies and opponents of the work were em- 
boldened by such confirmations of their criticisms ; and 
the public journals in Switzerland attacked the institu- 
tion. Referring to this, Pestalozzi says that the papers 
began " to speak decidedly against our pretensions, 
asserting that what we did was by no means what we 
considered and represented ourselves to be doing. But 
instead of penitently returning to modesty, we sturdily 
resisted this opposition. While participating in this 
temerity, which is now incomprehensible to me, I began 
to be sensible that we were treading in paths which 
might lead us astray, and that, in truth, many things in 
the midst of us were not as they should have been, and 
as we endeavoured to make them appear in the eyes of 
the world." 

Pestalozzi and his staff appealed to the Swiss Diet 
to appoint a commission to formally examine the in- 
stitution. Their request was granted and three com- 
missioners appointed, viz.^ M. Merian, a member of the 
executive council of Basle ; M. Trechsel, professor of 
mathematics at Bern ; and Pere Girard, the famous 
educational reformer of Fribourg. These visited the 
institute in November, i8og, and spent five days in 
examining it. They steadfastly refused to inquire into 


the aims and principles of the work, and confined them- 
selves wholly to the results produced. After their in- 
spection they Wrote a report which was presented to the 
Diet in 1810 : a vote of thanks, on behalf of the nation, 
was accorded to Pestalozzi ; and the report ordered to be 
printed. Whilst recognising many merits in the work 
of the institution, the commissioners pointed out many 
things which they thought might be improved ; and, on 
the whole, it may be said that the work was damned 
with faint praise. A long and heated controversy 
between the opponents and friends (including the staff) 
of the school took place in the public journals, and by 
pamphlets and books, the result of which was anything 
but favourable to the success of the work or harmony 
amongst the workers. 

Much light is thrown upon what we may call the 
domestic affairs of the institution by Ramsauer, himself 
a member of it. He writes : "In Burgdorf [where 
Ramsauer was one of the pupils] an active and entirely 
new life opened to me ; there reigned so much love and 
simplicity in the institution, the life was so genial — I 
could almost say patriarchal ; not much was learned, 
it is true, but Pestalozzi was the father, and the teachers 
were the friends of the pupils. ... At Yverdon ... we 
all felt that more must be learned than at Burgdorf; 
but we all fell, in consequence, into a restless pushing 
and driving, and the individual teachers into a scramble 
after distinction. Pestalozzi, indeed, remained the same 
noble-hearted old man, wholly forgetting himself, and 
living only for the welfare of others, and infusing his 
own spirit into the entire household. ... So long as 
the institution was small, Pestalozzi could, by his 
thoroughly amiable personal character, adjust at once 


every slight discordance, he stood in much closer relation 
with every individual member of the circle, and could 
thus observe every peculiarity of disposition, and influ- 
ence it according to necessity. 

"This ceased when the family life was transformed 
in the institution into a constitutional state existence. 
Now the individual was more easily lost in the crowd : 
thus there arose a desire, on the part of each, to make 
himself felt and noticed. Egotism made its appearance 
every day in more pointed forms. Envy and jealousy 
rankled in the breasts of many." 

Of these things Pestalozzi himself was not unaware. 
When the institution was removed from Munchen Buch- 
see to Yverdon, he recognised that it contained " the 
seeds of its own internal decay in the unequal and con- 
tradictory character of the abilities, opinions, inclinations 
and claims of its members ; although as yet this dis- 
sension had not done anything but declare itself general, 
unrestrained and fierce. . . . But the seeds of our decay 
had been sown, and though they were still invisible in 
many places, had taken deep root. . . . 

" Led aside by worldly temptations and apparent 
good fortune from the purity, simplicity and innocence 
of our first endeavours, divided among ourselves in 
our inmost feelings, and from the first made incapable, 
by the heterogeneous nature of our peculiarities, of ever 
becoming of one mind and one heart in spirit and in 
truth for the attainment of our objects, we stood there 
outwardly united, even deceiving ourselves with respect 
to the real truth of our inclination to this union. And 
unfortunately we advanced, each one in his own manner, 
with firm, and at one time with rapid steps along a path 
which, without our being really conscious of it, separ- 


ated us every day further from the possibiHty of our 
ever becoming united." 

During the year 18 10 these personal differences 
between members of the staff, which had been growing 
for some time, became so acute that one of the most 
important of them — Schmid, the mathematical teacher 
and business manager — left the institute. This caused 
very great grief to Pestalozzi. Again also his extravagant 
generosity and unbusiness-like habits brought him into 
serious financial difficulties. By 1815 matters were so 
bad that the staff, in despair, invited Schmid to return. 
This was the beginning of the end. The domestic 
quarrels were soon revived, with increased bitterness ; 
lawsuits arose, one of which lasted seven years. Kriisi, 
the most loyal and loving of his admirers and helpers, 
left the institute in 1816 — writing this tender note of 
farewell : " Father, my time of enjoying your presence 
is past. I must leave your institution, as it is now 
conducted, if I am not for ever to lose my courage 
and strength to live for you and your work. For all 
that you were to me and all that I was able to be to 
you, I thank God ; for all my shortcomings, I pray God 
and yourself to forgive me." Niederer, the ablest of all 
the exponents of Pestalozzi's views, left him in 1817. 
Kriisi afterwards established a private school for boys in 
Yverdon. Five years later a reconciliation was brought 
about; but the greatest possible mischief had been 
done to the fair fame of the institution, and public 
opinion and confidence had received a severe shock, in 
consequence of the newspaper and controversial writings 
connected with these quarrels. 

Though such things were happening at home still 
Pestalozzi's name and fame stood high in other countries, 


When the allied army, violating the country's neutrality, 
passed through Switzerland to attack Napoleon, the 
castle and other buildings at Yverdon were requisi- 
tioned for military purposes. To escape this infliction 
two town's deputies, accompanied by Pestalozzi, were 
sent to ask that the town might be excused. Thanks 
to Pestalozzi's influence — he was " received with most 
extraordinary favour " — they were successful. Pupils 
still came to the institute from other countries. 

In 1816, M. Jullien took with him twenty-four 
students from France ; though he stayed only a year, 
owing, it is said, to the conduct of Schmid. Dr. Mayo 
took several pupils from England to Yverdon in i8ig. 
Mr. Greaves, an Englishman who did much for the 
founding of infants' schools in England, joined the 
institute and took part in its work. It is said that 
about half a dozen poor children were sent from Eng- 
land to the school. 

Neither was Pestalozzi's ever-youthful energy quenched 
or his hopeful spirit damped, and in 1818 he established 
a Poor School at Clindy, a hamlet near Yverdon. This 
had twelve pupils — neglected children — and was con- 
ducted on the lines of the original Poor School at 
Neuhof. ''They were to be brought up as poor boys," 
he says, " and receive that kind of instruction which 
is suitable for the poor, including, amongst other things, 
chopping wood and carting manure." Here Pestalozzi 
was himself again. In a little world where he him- 
self could be all and everything, he, though an old man 
of seventy-two, repeated his greatest personal success. 
" Old, absentminded, and incapable as he seemed in 
ordinary affairs, he, as though by enchantment, gained 
the attention and the affection of the children, and 


bent them entirely to his will " (Quick, Educational 

The Clindy Poor School soon became famous ; and 
in a few months there were thirty pupils. But unfortun- 
ately, as it turned out, Pestalozzi, with what he calls 
his *' unrivalled incapacity to govern," allowed the cur- 
riculum to be more and more brought into line with that 
at the institute ; other teachers took part in the work ; 
paying pupils were admitted; and finally the whole 
character of the school changed. Schmid then per- 
suaded him to transfer the school to the Yverdon in- 

Pestalozzi had hoped, a little later on, to take the 
children to Neuhof, and there re-establish for his declining 
years the undertaking with which he had begun his life's 
work. Each of the poor children had been bound over 
to stay in the school for five years. When this time 
expired not one remained. Of this he writes : '' The 
illusion in my mind, as to the possibility of transplanting 
to Neuhof an establishment in Yverdon of which not an 
inch was in reality any longer mine, was now entirely 
dispelled. To resign myself to this conviction, required 
me to do no less than abandon all my hopes and aims 
in regard to this project, as for me completely unattain- 
able. I did so at last, and on 17th March, 1824, I 
announced m}^ total inability further to fulfil the expecta- 
tions and hopes which I had excited, by my projected 
Poor School, in the hearts of so many philanthropists 
and friends of education." 

Within a year came the last sad blow: broken by 
internal dissensions, and crushed by debt, the institute at 
Yverdon had to be closed ; after having stood as the 
beacon light of education for more than twenty years. 


And now Pestalozzi, an old man of eighty and tired of 
life, returns to Neuhof, where, exactly half a century 
before, he had started his first Poor School. Well may 
he exclaim : " Verily it was as if I were putting an end 
to my life itself by this return, so much pain did it give 



After the storm and stress of, perhaps, the sternest 
fight that ever man fought to uphft his fellows by means 
of education, Pestalozzi returned to his starting place 
once more. Though he had in fact won a great world 
victory for progress, he thought he was defeated, if not 
disgraced. Even so his noble soul and ardent mind 
would not be stilled. Once more he takes up his pen to 
tell the truth, as he sees it, of his life and work ; and to 
deliver yet again the message he bears. Now, as ever, 
he does not spare himself, but freely and frankly admits 
his many faults and failures : all he asks is that the 
truth that is in him and his work shall be properly 
recognised and appreciated. 

No sooner did he arrive again at Neuhof than he 
began to write his Swan's Song (or Death-Song). In 
this he gives a final statement of his views on educa- 
tion. He also wrote My ForUmes as Superintendent of 
my Educational Establishments at Burgdorf and Yverdon ; 
wherein he gives his own account of the happenings 
at these places, and tries to show that Schmid was his 
true friend and saviour. Whilst these writings are, as 
would be expected, full of sadness and despondency, 

113 8 


they are b}^ no means the morbid meanderings of age 
and decay. De Guimps speaks of the Swan's Song as 
"one of his most remarkable works"; and Raumer, 
who was well qualified to judge, says: ''These last 
writings of Pestalozzi have been regarded by many as 
the melancholy and languid outpourings of the heart of 
a dying old man. As far as concerns the old man's 
judgments on the institution, as it was at the time of 
my stay at Yverdon, I consider them for the most part 
highly truthful, and as affording evidence that he was 
not deficient in manly clearness and penetration even 
in his old age." 

But these two works are but a fraction of his under- 
takings in his last days. Being short of means, he pro- 
posed to raise money by publishing editions of his work 
in English and in French. So Schmid was sent to 
Paris and London to get subscribers and arrange, if pos- 
sible, for the publication of his works ; and even for a 
new periodical in French. All this with a view to 
carrying out his ever-cherished plan of a Poor School 
at Neuhof. After fifty years' absence from Neuhof, one 
of the first things he did on his return to it was to give 
orders for the buildings for a Poor School. Whilst 
these orders were being carried out, much too slowly 
for his burning zeal, he constantly went and taught in 
the village school at Birr; and once more interested 
himself in the affairs of his old friends amongst the 

Of his personal appearance at this time we have an 
account by Henning — one of his " old boys " — who 
visited him at Neuhof, in August, 1825. ^^ says : " I 
had not seen him for thirteen years, and found him 


looking older certainly, but on the whole very little 
changed. He was still active and strong, simple and 
open ; his face still wore the same kindly, plaintive 
expression ; his zeal for human happiness, and especi- 
ally for the education of poor and little children, was as 
keen as thirteen years before. ... In spite of the heat 
he accompanied me to Lenzburg, and valiantly mounted 
the two or three hundred steps leading to the castle. 
. . . The vivacity of his speech and the vigour of all 
his movements inspired me with the hope that the term 
of his earthly existence was still far off. My heart was 
full when I took leave of the kind old man. I shall 
never forget the time that it was my good fortune to 
spend with him." 

For a meeting of the Helvetian Society — of which he 
had been enthusiastically elected president the previous 
year — in April, 1826, at Schinznach, he wrote an address 
On Fatherland and Education. In November of the 
same year he was present at a meeting of the Society 
for the Promotion of Education, of Brugg, for which 
he had written a paper entitled Attempt at a Sketch 
on the Essence of the Idea of Elementary Education, and 
dealing with the simplest means of educating child- 
ren from the cradle to the sixth year, in the domestic 
circle. The paper was read for him by the pastor of 
Birr ; but afterwards Pestalozzi spoke with all his old 
vigour and passionate zeal for the education of the little 

In July, 1826, Pestalozzi and Schmid visited Zeller's 
school for orphans, at Beuggen, where a touching 
festival was arranged in his honour. The children re- 
ceived him with singing ; and he was then offered an 





Goethe (1749-1832). 
Very slowly. 


I I I r 

Thou that art in high-est skies 

I I 

Ev' - ry pain and sor - row 













still-ing ; Those whom dou 


ble an - guish tries, Dou - bly 

r r.l I 






with Thy sweet - ness 



fill - ing : Why with pain and plea - sure 

hea - ven, Come, oh, 

I I 


come, with - in each breast. 

,1 I I , 





oak wreath, which, however, he would not accept, say- 
ing, while tears were in his eyes : ** Not to me, but to in- 
nocence, belongs this wreath". Most appropriately — 
for it appeared in his first book, Leonard and Gertrude — 
and most pathetically so — for it spoke of peace and rest 
after storm and strife — one hymn sung by the children 
was Goethe's " Wanderer's Evening Prayer". This 
deeply affected Pestalozzi. 

Beside all these activities he was working at an addi- 
tional volume (the fifth) of Leonard and Gertrude ; a new 
Manual for Mothers^ in which he gave them instructions 
for educating a child up to its seventh year — a supple- 
ment to his Book for Mothers ; and a book of elementary 
exercises designed to teach children Latin in the same 
way as they learn their mother-tongue. 

Soon, and in strife, the end was to come : and terribly 
sad was the closing scene. Pestalozzi's My Fortunes, 
etc., gave rise to much newspaper correspondence ; and 
it contained statements which, in defending Schmid, 
caused great pain toNiederer. A friend of Niederer 
published a pamphlet in defence of him. Pestalozzi 
had taken no notice of the newspaper correspondence, 
but when he saw in a Zurich paper a notice of the 
pamphlet, with the remark: "It seems that Pestalozzi 
is like certain animals who hide at sight of the stick ; 
otherwise he would reply to these attacks," he was 
seized with a most violent outburst of indignation, and 
exclaimed: ''I can bear this no longer". He became 
quite ill, and said to his doctor: "I feel that I am 
going to die ; but I must live six weeks longer to 
answer these terrible calumnies". In spite of his 
condition — he suffered also from an organic com- 


plaint — and his doctor's orders he insisted upon writ- 
ing, whenever he could, till the pen dropped from his 
hands. So serious became his state that the doctor 
ordered his removal to Brugg so that he might be near 

On the 15th of February, 1827, when deep snow 
covered the ground the poor old man was taken, well 
wrapped up and in a closed sledge, to a room in 
Brugg. The next day he had a violent attack of 
pain, became delirious, and was unconscious for some 
time. He was unable to speak after noon. Very 
early the next morning he regained consciousness, 
and seemed easy and composed. He helped to arrange 
his bed and talked to those about him for nearly 
an hour. Amongst his last words were these : '' My 
children, you cannot carry out my work, but you can 
do good to those about you ; you can give land to 
the poor to cultivate. As for me I am soon to read 
the book of truth. I forgive my enemies ; may 
they find peace, even as I am now about to find the 
peace which is eternal. I should have been glad 
to live six weeks longer to finish my writing, and yet I 
thank God for taking me away from this earthly life. 
You, my children, remain quietly at Neuhof, and look 
for your happiness in your home." About seven o'clock 
in the morning he quietly passed away with a smile on 
his lips. 

When asked what sort of a monument he would like 
he had said " a rough unhewn stone, such as I myself 
have always been ". Nearly twenty years after his 
death, in a niche in the church wall above his grave, 
was placed a bust of him, and this epitaph : — 


Here rests 

Born at Zurich on the 12th of January, 174.6, 

Died at Brugg on the lyth of February, 1827. 

Saviour of the poor at Neuhof, 

Preacher to the people in Leonard and Gertrude, 

Father of the orphans at Stanz, 

Founder of the new folkschool 

in Burgdorf and Munchenbuchsee, 

Educator of Humanity at Yverdon. 

Man, Christian, Citizen. 

Everything for others, nothing for himself! 

Blessings on his name ! 


Grateful Aargau. 



Carlyle has finely said: "The history of what man 
has accompHshed in this world, is at bottom the history 
of the Great Men who have worked here. They were 
the leaders of men, these great ones ; the modellers, 
patterns, and in a wide sense creators, of whatsoever 
the general mass of men contrived to do or to attain ; 
all things that we see standing accomplished in the 
world are properly the outer material result, the practi- 
cal realisation and embodiment, of thoughts that dwelt 
in the Great Men sent into the world. . . . We cannot 
look, however imperfectly, upon a great man, without 
gaining something by him. He is the living light- 
fountain, which it is good and pleasant to be near. 
The light which enlightens, which has enlightened the 
darkness of the world ; and this not as a kindled lamp 
only, but rather as a natural luminary shining by the 
gift of Heaven ; a flowing light-fountain, as I say, of 
original insight, of manhood and heroic nobleness. I 
should say sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is 
the first characteristic of all men in any way heroic. . . . 
A breaker of idols. ... It is the property of every Hero, 
in every time, in every place and situation, that he come 
back to reality; that he stand upon things, and not 
shows of things " {On Heroes and Hero-worship). 



We have already seen enough of his life to judge 
whether Pestalozzi has any claims to be accounted a 
hero of this sort. Let us never cease to remember that 
it is the elements of greatness in a man which most 
matter, and not the weaknesses which accompany them, 
or the mistakes made in giving expression to them ; so 
long as the greatness prevails. 'Twere better to have 
been one-thousandth part as good as Pestalozzi, than a 
thousand times better than the critic who thinks Pesta- 
lozzi could not have been a great man, because he 
made many and great mistakes. There is not one of 
the conditions of greatness which Carlyle lays down 
which Pestalozzi does not more or less fulfil. We, 
therefore, acclaim him a Great Man, a Hero. 

Let those who knew him bear witness to the manner 
of man he was, as to his virtues. Buss, one of his 
earliest and faithful helpers, says: ''there was in his 
expression something so great, that I viewed him with 
astonishment and veneration. This, then, was Pesta- 
lozzi ? His benevolence, the cordial reception he gave 
to me, a perfect stranger, his unpretending simplicity, 
and the dilapidated condition in which he stood before 
me ; the whole man, taken together, impressed me 
most powerfully. I was his in one instant. No man 
had ever so sought my heart ; but none, likewise, has 
ever so fully won my confidence." Karl Ritter (the 
famous geographer), one of Pestalozzi's teacher-pupils, 
says : " I have seen more than the Paradise of Switzer- 
land, for I have seen Pestalozzi, and recognised how 
great his heart is, and how great his genius ; never 
have I been so filled with a sense of the sacredness of 
my vocation and the dignity of human nature as in the 
days I spent with this noble man ", Another pupil, 


Professor Vulliemin, writes : *' We all loved him, for he 
loved us all ; we loved him so warmly that when some 
time passed without our seeing him, we were quite 
troubled about it, and when he again appeared we could 
not take our eyes off him . . . him whom we used to call 
our Father Pestalozzi ". Yet another writes : '' I seem 
still to see this kind old man . . . with such a quick, 
tender glance in his eyes, and such a kind smile upon 
his lips, that everybody felt attracted to him, men, 
women and children gladly accepting his affectionate 
embraces ". 

He was a man full of the most devoted affection and 
kindness. Ramsauer tells us that when he was ill 
'' Pestalozzi reproached himself with being the cause ; 
he knew he had worked me too much, and was 
anxious to nurse me himself, as a father would nurse 
his child ". Dr. Mayo describes how, when he was ill, 
Pestalozzi was terribly uneasy ; he could not rest till 
the symptoms declared themselves more favourable. 
He said : ' J'ai en crainte, comme un pauvre diable '. 
He comes early in the morning to my bedside ; kisses 
my hand when I place it in his ; and when I tell him 
I am better, he is quite delighted and exclaims ' Graces 
a Dieu, Graces a Dieu ! ' " 

Two or three incidents of his life throw interesting 
side-lights on his character. One day some of Fellen- 
berg's workmen brought to him a disreputable-looking, 
raggedly clothed man, whom they had found lying in a 
field, half dead with hunger and fatigue. The man 
turned out to be Pestalozzi, who, in his enthusiasm for 
collecting minerals, had wandered so far from home, 
and so loaded his pockets and handkerchief with his 
captures, that he had become exhausted, had lost his 


way, and finally collapsed beside a ditch. On another 
occasion, when on a similar errand, he was seen by a 
policeman wearily dragging himself along towards the 
gates of Soleure, at evening. Taking him to be a 
beggar, and suspicious of the character of such a ragged 
and unkempt person, the policeman took him to the 
magistrate's house. Here he had to wait a long time, 
for the magistrate was out. To the amazement of the 
policeman the magistrate recognised Pestalozzi, cordi- 
ally greeted him and invited him to supper. 

When he went with the deputation from Yverdon to 
petition the allied sovereigns not to use the town's 
buildings as hospital, he used the occasion for advocat- 
ing his system. Finding himself in the presence of the 
Czar and so many high officials, he at once began to 
address them on the education of the poor, and the 
liberation of the serfs. So absorbed was he in this task 
that he pressed upon the Emperor until the latter was 
driven into a corner of the room, and Pestalozzi was on 
the point of actually button-holing him, when he sud- 
denly remembered himself. Confusedly muttering an 
apology he attempted to kiss the Emperor's hand, but 
Alexander graciously embraced him. 

On one occasion he determined, though very ill at the 
time, to call on the King of Prussia (who was visiting 
Neuchatel), to thank him for sending so many teacher- 
students to Yverdon. Ramsauer went with him, and 
relates that : " During the journey Pestalozzi had 
several fainting fits, so that I was obliged to take him 
from the carriage and carry him into a neighbouring 
house. I constantly urged him to return home. * Hold 
your tongue,' he said ; ' I must see the king even though 
it should cost me my life. If I can bring about a better 


education for a single Prussian child, I shall be fully 
rewarded.' " 

Once when he was ill in bed with a sharp attack of 
rheumatism, the French Ambassador, Reinhardt, called 
to see the institute at Burgdorf. Neither doctor nor 
friends could persuade Pestalozzi to stay in bed. With 
great difficulty, and much pain to himself, he was 
dressed and almost carried from his room. No sooner 
did he see the ambassador than he freed himself from 
his supporters, and began earnestly to expound his 
educational views to his visitor. The longer he talked, 
the more vigorous and active he became ; so much so 
that when he made an end of speaking, he had also 
made an end of his rheumatism. 

Dr. Mayo tells how, just before completing his seventy- 
fifth year : " A girl belonging to his poor school [Clindy] 
having died a few days ago, he attended her funeral, 
leading the procession bare-headed, though the snow 
was on the ground ". 

So much as to the goodness of his heart and will ; 
and now we will give some evidence about his intellec- 
tual powers and general character. Baron de Guimps 
says of Pestalozzi (at Yverdon): " He accosted every- 
body with gentle kindliness. His conversation was 
animated and clever, full of imagination and originality, 
but difficult to follow on account of his pronunciation. 
But he was never long the same, passing in a moment 
from frank, open-hearted gaiety to profound and even 
melancholy meditation. Always absent-minded and 
preoccupied, he was a prey to a feverish restlessness, 
and could never sit down for long together ; he used to 
walk up and down the corridors of the castle, one hand 
behind his back, or in the breast of his coat. . . . He 


continued to work with indefatigable zeal at improv- 
ing his ' method,' and making new applications of it. 
Every morning, as early as two o'clock, he called an 
under-master to his bedside to write from his dictation. 
But he was rarely satisfied with his own work, and 
made continual corrections, often starting afresh." 

Ramsauer speaks thus of him : " On those occasions 
[when members of the staff took coffee with him in Mrs. 
Pestalozzi's room] he was generally very gay and full of 
wit ; and his wit was often brilliant, for whatever he 
did, he did thoroughly, giving himself up entirely to 
the feelings of the moment. In the same half-hour he 
would be extremely happy and extremely miserable, 
gentle and caressing or serious and severe ; he did 
nothing without enthusiasm." 

This violent instability is shown in an incident re- 
lated by De Guimps. " Pestalozzi was strangely im- 
pressionable, and when once possessed by his favourite 
idea of elevating the lower classes, he forgot everything 
else. Some short time after the death of his wife [which 
caused him the most profound grief and distress], one 
of his old pupils, deeply moved by his loss, came to 
see him. After a few words on the painful subject of 
the visit, the old man began to speak of his new plans 
and new hopes for the success of his method, and before 
long, carried away by his illusions and enthusiasm, he 
cried excitedly : ' I am swimming in a sea of joy ! ' " 

Professor Vulliemin writes : " He is quick in grasping 
principles, but is helpless in matters of detail ; he pos- 
sesses the faculty, however, of putting his views with 
such force and clearness that he has no difficulty in 
getting them carried out. . . . He has no gift for guid- 
ing this great undertaking [Yverdon], and yet it con- 


tinues. . . . Even his speech, which is neither German 
nor French, is scarcely intelligible, and yet in every- 
thing he is the soul of this vast establishment. All his 
words, and more especially his religious utterances, 
sink deep into the hearts of his pupils, who love and 
venerate him as a father." 

Of his manner of expounding his theories De Guimps 
says : " A hundred times have I heard the master him- 
self explain his doctrine, and each time with a different 
illustration. This profound philosopher had no love 
for philosophical language, with which he had never 
been familiar. Nor would he trust himself to use 
formulas, of which indeed he had almost a dread. His 
thought, which had been shaped in solitude and with no 
help from books, was simply the outcome of observation 
and reflection, and so he preferred to explain his views 
as he had formed them, and attached much more weight 
to concrete facts, particular examples, and comparisons, 
than to abstractions and general ideas." 

Dr. Biber's description is : " Pestalozzi was naturally 
endowed with extraordinary powers of body and mind. 
. . . His eye beaming with benevolence and honest 
confidence, soon dispelled any unpleasant impressions 
which the ruggedness of his appearance was calculated 
to produce ; while his wrinkled countenance, which at- 
tested in every feature the existence of a soul, to whom 
life had been more than a thoughtless game, commanded, 
with irresistible power, that reverence which his figure 
could never have imposed. . . . His temper was cheer- 
ful ; his wit ready and pointed, but without sting. His 
conversation was at all times animated, but most so 
when he entered into explanations of his views ; his 
lively gesticulation was then called in to assist his utter- 


ance, especially when he spoke French, which not 
being familiar to him, he was constantly tormented by a 
vague consciousness of the inadequacy of his expressions 
to the ideas which he had in mind. Such was the affa- 
bility of his manner that it was impossible long to feel a 
stranger in his presence, while the native dignity dif- 
fused over his whole being, kept even the indiscreet at 
a respectful distance. 

" He was an affectionate husband and a kind father. 
The privations to which his enterprising spirit, and his 
unbusiness-like habits exposed his family, cost him many 
a pang ; and much of the gloom and bitterness which 
assailed him at different periods, especially towards the 
close of his life, is to be attributed to the struggle of his 
domestic affections against the generous disinterested- 
ness of his public character. . . . The relation in which 
Pestalozzi's character was most fully developed, and 
appears to the greatest advantage, is that in which he 
stood, in the most flourishing times of the institution at 
Yverdon, to the whole family as their adoptive father, 
and to his earliest disciples as their paternal friend." 

M. Charles Monnard says of his intellectual power: 
"Instead of the usual knowledge that any young man 
of ordinary talent can acquire in two years, he under- 
stood thoroughly what most masters were entirely 
ignorant of : the mind of man and the laws of its de- 
velopment, human affections and the art of arousing 
and ennobHng them. He seemed to have almost an 
intuitive insight into the development of human nature, 
which indeed he was never tired of contemplating." 

An almost ridiculous example of this combination of 
deep insight and high purpose with profound ignorance 
is given by Ramsauer, in connection with Pestalozzi's 


enthusiasm for collecting stones. " Every fine day he 
went to hunt for stones, which was his chief diversion. 
I, too, had to pick up stones, although it seemed very 
singular to me, for there were millions of them and I 
did not know which to take. He did not understand 
anything about them either, but he filled his pockets and 
his handkerchief with them every day all the same, and 
carried them home, though he never looked at them again 
after that. He kept this hobby all his life ; and it was 
hard to find a handkerchief in the whole school of Burg- 
dorf which was not full of holes made by taking pebbles 
home." But there was a great educational principle 
involved, and out of such seemingly stupid actions grew 
what we now know as nature study, school journeys, 
and object lessons. 

Raumer says that " Niederer saw in Pestalozzi a 
man who had grasped with instinctive profundity the 
subject of human culture, but had given only a frag- 
mentary view of it, and who could not control ideas 
which, as it were, possessed him ". Niederer himself 
says: " In Pestalozzi there was as much of the woman 
as of the man". There is much truth in Niederer's 

And now let us consider — for purposes of proper 
criticism (of his work) — some of his weaknesses and 
failings. Here we shall find much that needs careful 
consideration. We must endeavour to see the man as 
a whole, and to see him sanely ; neither lost to his 
weaknesses because of our admiration of his great- 
nesses, nor blind to his supreme abilities because of his 
great failings. If we would see the pure jewel we must 
clear away the dross. We shall try to recognise his 
faults fully, only that thereby we may see his virtues 


still more fully : we seek but to separate the chaff from 
the wheat. 

No one was more conscious of Pestalozzi's faults 
than Pestalozzi himself. From first to last he confesses 
and deplores them. Of his first failures, at Neuhof, he 
declares : ''The cause of the failure of my undertaking 
lay essentially and exclusively in myself, and in my 
pronounced incapacity for every kind of undertaking 
what requires eminent practical ability. ... So great, 
so unspeakably great, was the contrast between what I 
wished to do and what I did and was able to do, which 
arose from the disproportion between my good-natured 
zeal, on the one side, and my mental impotency and 
unskilfulness in the affairs of life on the other." 

Writing to his fiancee, between 1767-69, he says : 
"Those of my faults which appear to me the most im- 
portant, in relation to the situation in which I may be 
placed in after-life, are improvidence, incautiousness, 
and a want of presence of mind to meet unexpected 
changes in my future prospects, whenever they may 
occur. ... I have other faults, arising from my irrita- 
bility and sensitiveness, which oftentimes will not sub- 
mit to my judgment. I very frequently allow myself to 
run into excesses in praising and blaming, in my likings 
and dislikings; I cleave so strongly to many things 
which I possess, that the force with which I feel my- 
self bound to them often exceeds the limits which 
reason assigns ; whenever my country or my friend is 
unhappy, I am myself unhappy. ... Of my great, and 
indeed very reprehensible, negligence in all matters of 
etiquette, and generally in all matters which are not in 
themselves of importance, I need not speak ; any one 
may see them at first sight of me." 



Such a confession is in itself a sign of greatness, for 
it was done at a great price, under the fear of a still 
greater : " I love you so truly from my heart, and with 
such fervour, that this step has cost me much; I fear 
to lose you, dear, when you see me as I am ; I had often 
determined to be silent ; at last I have conquered my- 
self ". True self-criticism is the highest form of judg- 
ment ; and few men are able thus to analyse their own 
nature, and fewer still have the noble courage and 
candour for such a confession. 

Again, he says of his work at Burgdorf — in many 
ways the most successful of all his school-work : "I 
must say here openly what, during my years of mis- 
fortune, I have often and often said secretly to myself, 
that at the very first step I took in Burgdorf Castle I 
was lost. I was indeed embarking on a career that 
could only end in misfortune, seeing that the post I was 
to occupy demanded the very strength and administra- 
tive talents I so terribly lacked." Of the institute at 
Yverdon he most modestly, yet truly said, to Professor 
Vulliemin : " I cannot say that it is I who have created 
what you see before you. Niederer, Kriisi and Schmid 
would laugh at me if I called myself their master ; I 
am good neither at figures nor writing ; I know nothing 
about grammar, mathematics, or any other science ; 
the most ignorant of our pupils know more of these 
things than I do ; I am but the initiator of the institute, 
and depend on others to carry out my views." 

Professor Vulliemin rightly adds : '' He spoke the 
truth, and yet without him nothing that is here would 
exist ". Yes, though he was not their master, yet he 
was their Master : he knew much of the soul of know- 
ledge though little of its forms. He saw clearly, but he 


could not express clearly and cogently. As he says in 
How Gertrude Teaches her Children : '' My dear friend, if 
you find that I do not succeed in explaining the theory 
of my plans, I hope you will take the will for the deed, 
seeing what pains I am taking. Ever since the age of 
twenty I have been completely unfitted for systematic 
metaphysics ; and fortunately for me, the practical 
success of my plan does not depend upon this sort of 
philosophy, which seems to me so toilsome." And yet 
though this is true, it is also true that he wrote as only 
a man of genius can write, and was recognised by the 
most intellectual men of his day and generation as one 
of themselves. But he lacked power and thoroughness 
as a systematic, or scientific, thinker and writer. Like 
most of the great pioneers he did not construct an 
elaborate and finished system, but set forth, or rather 
revealed, some of the great truths and principles which 
must underlie such a system. 

Froebel, who spent more than a year with Pestalozzi 
at Yverdon, thus speaks of him and his work : " That 
Pestalozzi was carried away and bewildered by this 
great intellectual machine of his appears from the fact 
that he could never give any definite account of his 
idea, his plan, his intention. He always said, ' Go and 
see for yourself ' (very good for him who knew how to 
look, how to hear, how to perceive) ; ' it works splen- 
didly ! ' It was at that time, indeed, surprising and in- 
explicable to me that Pestalozzi's loving character did 
not win every one's heart as it won mine, and compel 
the staff of teachers to draw together into a connected 
whole, penetrated with life and intellectual strength in 
every part. His morning and evening addresses were 
deeply touching in their simplicity. . . . 

9 * 


" The powerful, indefinable, stirring and uplifting 
effect produced by Pestalozzi when he spoke, set one's 
soul on fire for a higher, nobler life, although he had not 
made clear or sure the exact way towards it, nor indi- 
cated the means whereby to attain it. ... I soon saw 
that much was imperfect ; but, notwithstanding this, the 
activity which pressed forth on all sides, the vigorous 
effort, the spiritual endeavour of life around me, which 
carried me away with it as it did all other men who 
came within its influence, convinced me that here I 
should presently be able to resolve all my difficulties." 

This inability on the part of Pestalozzi to follow his 
ideas and plans to successful issues was pointed out to 
Pestalozzi himself by his friend Lavater, who said to 
him : '' When I only see a line of yours without a mis- 
take, I will believe you capable of much, very much, 
that you would like to be ". To Pestalozzi's wife Lava- 
ter once said: " If I were a prince, I would consult 
Pestalozzi in everything that concerns the people and 
the improvement of their condition, but I would never 
trust him with a farthing of money ". 

Often too the enthusiasm of his hopes, the intensity 
of his desires, and the overwhelming conviction of the 
rightness and righteousness of his work, seem to have 
so prejudiced his calmer and clearer judgment that he 
believed the facts to be other than they were ; and even 
went so far as to arrange things so that other people 
should be led to see only the greatest successes of his 
work. Ramsauer says : " As many hundred times in 
the course of the year as foreigners visited the Pesta- 
lozzi institution, so many hundred times did Pestalozzi 
allow himself, in his enthusiasm, to be deceived by 
them, On the arrival of every fresh visitor, he would 


go to the teachers in whom he placed most confidence 
and say to them : ' This is an important personage, who 
wants to become acquainted with all we are doing. 
Take your best pupils and their analysis-books (copy- 
books in which the lessons were written out) and show 
him what we can do and what we wish to do '. Hun- 
dreds and hundreds of times there came to the institu- 
tion silly, curious and often totally uneducated persons, 
who came because it was the ' fashion '. On their 
account, we usualty had to interrupt the class instruc- 
tion and hold a kind of examination. . . . 

" In 1814, the aged Prince Esterhazy came. Pesta- 
lozzi ran all over the house, calling out : ' Ramsauer, 
Ramsauer, where are you ? Come directly with your 
best pupils to the Maison Rouge (the hotel where the 
Prince was). He is a person of the highest importance 
and of infinite wealth ; he has thousands of bond-slaves 
in Hungary and Austria. He is certain to build schools 
and set free his slaves, if he is made to take an interest 
in the matter.' I took about fifteen pupils to the hotel. 
Pestalozzi introduced me to the Prince with these words : 
* This is the teacher of these scholars, a young man who 
fifteen years ago migrated with other poor children from 
the canton of Appenzell and came to me. But he re- 
ceived an elementary education, according to his indi- 
vidual aptitudes, without let or hindrance. Now he is 
himself a teacher. Thus you see that there is as much 
ability in the poor as in the richest, frequently more ; 
but in the former it is seldom developed, and even then 
not methodically. It is for this reason that the im- 
provement of the people's schools is so highly import- 
ant. But he will show you everything we do better than 
I could. I will, therefore, leave you for the present.' 


" I now examined the pupils, taught, explained and 
bawled, in my zeal, till I was quite hoarse, believing 
that the Prince was thoroughly convinced about every- 
thing. At the end of an hour Pestalozzi returned. 
The Prince expressed his pleasure at what he had seen. 
He then took leave, and Pestalozzi, standing on the 
steps of the hotel, said : ' He is quite convinced, quite 
convinced, and will certainly estabhsh schools on his 
Hungarian estates '. 

" When we had descended the stairs, Pestalozzi said : 
' Whatever ails my arm ? It is so painful. Why, see ! 
it is quite swollen ; I can't bend it ! ' And in truth his 
wide sleeve was now too small for his arm. I looked at 
the key of the house-door of the Maison Rouge and said 
to Pestalozzi : ' Look here ; you struck yourself against 
this key when we were going to the Prince an hour ago '. 
On closer observation it appeared that Pestalozzi had 
actually bent the key by hitting his elbow against it. 
In the first hour afterwards he had not noticed the 
pain, for the excess of his zeal and his joy." 

It is impossible to deny that, though due to the best 
possible motives, there is much that is misleading and 
mistaken in such methods of self-advertisement. They 
savour too much of " tricks of the trade ". It is to such 
exhibitions that Professor Vulliemin refers as " charla- 
tanism " (see p. 97). Although Pestalozzi did such 
things in the excitement of the moment, so to say, yet 
in his calmer moods he recognised that he had mis- 
represented matters ; frankly confessed his fault, and 
corrected his misrepresentations. A good example of 
this is seen in connection with the Report to Parents 
which was published as a reply to the attacks on the 
institute at Yverdon. In this everything and everybody 


are spoken of as though all was perfection and delight. 
Afterwards Pestalozzi admitted that '' what is here 
said ... is altogether a consequence of the great de- 
lusion under which we lay at that period, namely, that 
all those things in regard to which we had strong in- 
tentions and some clear ideas, were really as they ought 
to have been, and as we should have liked to make 
them. . . . Neither did we perceive the weeds at that 
time ; indeed, as we then lived, thought, acted and 
dreamt, it was impossible that we should perceive them." 

On this element in Pestalozzi's character Raumer 
remarks: "The source of the internal contradiction 
which runs through the life of Pestalozzi was, as we 
saw from his own confessions, the fact that, in spite of 
his grand ideal, which comprehended the whole human 
race, he did not possess the ability and skill requisite 
for conducting the smallest village school. His highly 
active imagination led him to consider and describe as 
actually existing in the institution whatever he hoped 
sooner or later to see realised. His hopeful spirit fore- 
saw future development in what was already accom- 
plished, and expected that others would benevolently 
do the same. This bold assumption had an effect on 
many, especially on the teachers of the institution. 
This appears to explain how, in the report on the insti- 
tution, so much could be said bond fide which a sober 
spectator was bound to pronounce untrue. 

"But this self-delusion is never of long duration; 
the period of overstrung enthusiasm is followed by one 
of hopelessness and dejection. The heart of man is 
indeed an alternately proud and dejected thing ! Such 
an ebb and flow of lofty enthusiasm and utter despair 
pervades the entire life of Pestalozzi." 


It would almost seem that Pestalozzi's personal neglect 
and disorder was a reflection of the want of order and 
finish in the affairs of his mind. There is no doubt 
that the former was very marked. Raumer thus speaks 
of his first sight of Pestalozzi : " He was dressed in the 
most negligent manner : he had on an old grey over- 
coat, no waistcoat, a pair of breeches, and stockings 
hanging down over his slippers ; his coarse bushy black 
hair uncombed and frightful. His brow was deeply 
furrowed, his dark brown eyes were now soft and mild, 
now full of fire. You hardly noticed that the old man, 
so full of geniality, was ugly ; you read in his singular 
features long continued suffering and great hopes." 

Ramsauer in describing his first day and lesson in 
the school at Burgdorf tells how Pestalozzi " kept on 
reading out sentences without halting for a moment. 
As I did not understand a bit of what was going on, 
when I heard the word ' monkey, monkey,' come every 
time at the end of a sentence, and as Pestalozzi, who 
was very ugly, ran about the room as if he was wild, 
without a coat, and without a neck-cloth, his long shirt- 
sleeves hanging down over his arms and hands, which 
swung negligently about, I was seized with real terror, 
and might soon have believed that he himself was a 

Professor Vulliemin thus describes him: "Imagine 
. . . a very ugly man with rough bristling hair, his face 
scarred with small-pox and covered with freckles, an 
untidy beard, no neck-tie, his breeches not properly 
buttoned and coming down to his stockings, which in 
their turn descended on to his great thick shoes ; fancy 
him panting and jerking as he walked ". Buss speaks 
of "his stockings hanging down about his heels, and 


his coat covered with dust. His whole appearance was 
so miserable that I was inclined to pity him." 

Though affectionate and ordinarily of a genial and 
cheerful temper he was at times uncertain and violent. 
Ramsauer states that " often when the masters had 
done something to displease him, Pestalozzi would fly 
into a passion and angrily leave the room, slamming 
the door as if he would break it. But if at that 
moment he happened to meet a young pupil, he would 
instantly grow calm, and after kissing the boy, return 
to the room, exclaiming : ' I beg your pardon ! Forgive 
my violence ! I was mad ! ' " ' Baron de Guimps writes : 
" He used to appear every day in the middle of the 
lessons. If the teaching satisfied him his face would 
become radiant with pleasure, he would caress the 
children and say a few pleasant words to them ; but if, 
on the other hand, he was not satisfied he would 
angrily leave the room at once, slamming the door be- 
hind him." 

M. Soyaux says of Pestalozzi : *' It was only neces- 
sary to see this man to have the best opinion of 
him ; he is always in deep thought : he discovers more 
in himself than from the outside world, more in the 
world of thought than in the world of things. A spirit 
of ceaseless activity, an inner impetus, sometimes 
drives him from one room to another, from one colleague 
to another. . . . Sometimes he passes whole days in his 
own room, and spends his time in meditation and writ- 
ing, wholly forgetful of his person and his affairs. One 
can begin a conversation with him easily enough, but 
it is not often that one can keep him to one subject, and 
get him to discuss it thoroughly. He merely breaks 
the current of his own thoughts for a few minutes, says 


a few friendly words, and then draws back into his 

" When, however, one can get him to notice well- 
grounded objections and doubts he becomes keen and 
talkative. He speaks fluently and to the point, in an 
energetic and definite way. Contradiction does not 
irritate him, and has seldom any effect other than 
making him more convinced than ever of the rightness 
of his opinions. His heart is most affectionate and 
friendly. . . . He shrinks from no sacrifice if the end 
is good and noble. He carries his forgetfulness of his 
own and his family's interests too far — he takes in too 
many pupils free of charge. 

"The firmness and independence of his mind show 
themselves in his personal appearance. . . . Unused to 
the usages of European society, he freely follows the 
natural impulses of his heart and mind. He is quiet, 
sincere, earnest, modestly firm, lively without being 
carried away by physical impulses, sympathetically at- 
tentive, but lacking in refinement because uninfluenced 
in his words and actions by outside opinions. As he 
has not been educated by men, he does not know how 
to exert an active influence on them. He is a thinker 
rather than an educator." 

We will take one more glimpse of the whole man, 
and this through the eyes of Dr. Mayo — an English 
clergyman who was chaplain to the English children at 
Yverdon — who was three years at the institute on terms 
of intimacy and confidence with Pestalozzi, and thus 
writes of him in a private letter to a friend : " Pestalozzi 
completes this day his seventy-sixth year. His grey hair, 
his careworn countenance, his hollow eye, and bent figure 
proclaim that many days, and those days of trouble. 


have passed over his head. His heart, however, seems 
still young ; the same warm and active benevolence, 
the same unconquerable hope, the same undoubting 
confidence, the same generous self-abandonment animate 
it now, that have led to the many sacrifices and have 
supported him under the many difficulties and trials of 
his eventful life. 

" In a thousand little traits of character, which un- 
consciously escape him, I read the confirmation of his 
history. It is an affecting sight, when the venerable ob- 
ject of the admiration of emperors and princes appears 
in the midst of his adopted children. Rich and poor, 
natives and foreigners share alike his paternal caress, 
and regard him with the same fearless attachment. 
From the sacrifice of time, property and health, for the 
benefit of a people who knew not how to value his 
merit, to the picking up a child's plaything, or the 
soothing of an infant's sorrow, Pestalozzi is ever prompt 
to obey the call of humanity and kindness. The senti- 
ment of love reigns so powerfully in his heart, that acts 
of the highest benevolence, or of the most condescend- 
ing good nature seem to require no effort, but appear 
the spontaneous manifestation of one over-ruling prin- 
ciple. . . . 

" Though honoured with the most flattering testi- 
monies of esteem and approbation by courts and uni- 
versities, Pestalozzi is the most modest and unassuming 
of men. To all who take an interest in his method of 
education he addresses himself in the most touching 
expressions of gratitude, as if they conferred the greatest 
obligation by examining into the truth of his opinions 
and the utility of his plans. ... * Examine my method ; 
adopt what you find to be good and reject what you 


cannot approve. We are doing something here towards 
the execution of my principles of education, but what 
we do is still very imperfect.' . . . 

" You cannot conceive the interest which Pestalozzi 
awakens or the influence which he insensibly acquires. 
All the little barriers, behind which reserve or suspicion 
teach us to entrench ourselves, fall before the child- 
like simplicity, the unaffected humility and feminine 
tenderness of his heart. Self-interest is shamed into 
silence, while we listen to the aspirations of his bound- 
less benevolence ; and if one spark of generous feeling 
glows in the bosom, the elevated enthusiasm of his 
character must blow it into a flame. The powers of his 
original mind serve to maintain the interest which his 
character first excites. In conversation, however, he 
is most frequently a listener. Towards those with whom 
he lives in perfect intimacy he sometimes indulges in a 
playful but forcible raillery ; careful meanwhile to avoid 
giving the slightest pain or uneasiness. He is peculiarly 
successful in portraying some great character by two 
or three masterly strokes ; in marking either in retro- 
spect, or by anticipation, the influence of political events 
on national character, or national prosperity ; in charac- 
terising the different methods of education in vogue ; or 
in tracing the difference between his views and those 
of certain philosophers with which they have been 

''There is nothing studied about him. Often as I 
have heard him enter on the subject of his system for 
the information of strangers, I do not recollect him to 
have taken it up twice from the same point of view. 
When we have conversed on these subjects, I have 
sometimes thought his ideas wild and his views im- 


practicable. The faint and misty but still beautiful light 
which emanated from his mind I have regarded with a 
feeling of melancholy delight, for it seemed to indicate 
that the sun of his genius had set. Still, I have been 
unable to dismiss from my mind his loose and ill-digested 
hints. After frequent reconsideration of them they have 
appeared more clear and more feasible ; and I have 
subsequently traced their influence on the opinions 
I have adopted and on the plans of instruction which I 
have pursued. 

" Pestalozzi once known is never forgotten. I have 
talked with men who have not seen him for years, or 
whom the current of events has separated from all inter- 
course with him. His honoured image lives as fresh in 
their memory as if their communication had never been 
suspended or broken. Anecdotes illustrating his benevo- 
lence are current in their families, and their children 
anticipate the delight of one day receiving the parental 
caress of good Father Pestalozzi. Many of my own 
countrymen who have enjoyed the privilege of his 
society will, I am sure, carry the remembrance of him 
to their graves." 



Starting with the fact that Pestalozzi was gifted with 
a mind which by its native power could pierce more 
deeply, fully and independently into the inner meaning 
and significance of things and ideas than the minds of 
other men — in a word, that he was a genius — we can 
usefully consider the influences which helped to develop 
his mind in the direction which it actually took, and the 
work it did. There is not the least doubt but that the 
influence of his mother, and the fact that he was 
entirely under the influence of women during his early 
years, had a very important and abiding effect upon him. 
Again, his own wife, and the faithful and devoted Eliza- 
beth Naef, were the only persons who really believed in 
and supported him in his most terrible time of failure 
and want at Neuhof. No wonder, therefore, that Eliza- 
beth was immortalised as Gertrude ; and that the woman 
and the mother are regarded by Pestalozzi as the very 
corner-stone of education and the foundations of society. 
Education must be based upon the mother's influence 
and work ; and, hence, it must be domestic and industrial 
in the earliest stages. 

His own reading and study at school and college 
would bring him into touch with at least some of the 
ideas of the great classical writers on education and 

J 43 


government. In his work On the Idea of Elementary 
Education he discusses the Greek ideal of education, 
pointing out that the Greeks based their system on the 
idea of developing the human faculties by human ac- 
tivities rather than knowledge giving ; that they gave 
general education before special training for work ^ 
and that their method of intellectual education is the 
most perfect model ever given to the world. In How 
Gertrude Teaches her Children he deals with the Socratic 
method of teaching, which he considers unsuitable for 
very young children, because it makes too great de- 
mands on the reasoning powers. In his study of law 
and politics he would deal more especially with prin- 
ciples of government, which would necessarily involve 
some consideration of systems of education. This was 
especially Jikely to be the case under such a man as 
Professor Bodmer, one of the ablest men of his day and 
a foremost reformer. 

We have already seen his own statement of the in- 
fluence of Rousseau's works on his mind and heart. 
His whole conception of education was very largely and 
deeply influenced, and probably moulded, by Rousseau's 
views. It is more than likely that in the course of his 
reading he would become acquainted with the ideas, if 
not the writings, of Locke and Hobbes. His Inquiry 
into the Course of Nature in the development of the Human 
Race seems to suggest this very clearly and strongly. 
The essays in which he and his fellow collegians 
shared at the meetings of the Helvetic Society would 
all help in this direction, for Professor Bodmer was the 
founder of it, and the subjects dealt with were history, 
education, poHtics and ethics. The national work 
done by this society would, of course, be well known to 


Pestalozzi, and would in some measure guide and form 
his ideas on education. 

Pestalozzi was a truly scientific thinker and worker, 
to a considerable extent ; not in a strict, systematic 
and thorough way, but in that he made a very consider- 
able use of real observation and experiment — as far as 
his wayward nature would allow. He might almost be 
said to be the first who began Child-Study, from the 
educational point of view. His very first attempts at 
practical teaching were made, as we have seen, in the 
upbringing of his own son. To further illustrate this 
we will give one or two more extracts from the diary in 
which he records his efforts, results and reflections — so 
extremely interesting and instructive : " When the child 
knows the signs [names] before learning to know the 
things they represent, and especially when he connects 
wrong ideas with them, our daily lessons and conversa- 
tion only strengthen and increase his mistakes, and force 
him still further along the path of error without our 
even suspecting it. . . . 

*' In the matter of education I am generally very 
eager to get to know the ideas of those who have been 
brought up quite naturally and without restraint : who 
have been taught by life itself and not by lessons. . . . 
Do not press your own knowledge too much upon the 
child, rather let truth itself speak to him : never tire of 
putting before his eyes whatever is likely to instruct 
him or help his development." In fact, we find the 
foundations of most of his principles in these notes. 

At Stanz his mind is ever busy watching the effects 
of his methods upon the children and drawing conclu- 
sions therefrom ; and these he set down in writing in a 
letter sent from Gurnigel — where he had gone to re- 


cruit his health, immediately on leaving Stanz — to his 
friend Gessner. At Burgdorf he continued this work of 
observation and reflection. He writes thus about his 
class-work in school : " I was every moment confronted 
with facts which threw increasing light on the physical 
and mechanical laws by which our minds are enabled 
to receive and retain external impressions. Every day 
I strove more and more to conform to these laws in my 
teaching, although I did not thoroughly understand the 
principle upon which they were based till last summer." 
Here also he did some individual child-study. He 
writes : ''A mother full of interest for the education of 
her child, entrusted me with the instruction of her little 
boy, then hardly three years old. I saw him, for some 
time, an hour every day ; and with him, too, I was 
merely, as it were, feeling the pulse of the method : I 
tried to convert letters, figures, and whatever else was 
at hand, into means of instruction ; that is to say, I led 
him to form, concerning every object, distinct notions, 
and to express these notions clearly in language. . . . 
It threw a good deal of light upon the means of enliven- 
ing the child's faculties, and inducing him to independ- 
ent exertion for the preservation and increase of his 
powers. . . . 

" The experiment I made with this boy could not be 
decisive as to the earliest beginning of instruction ; for 
this reason, that he had already been allowed to pass in 
comparative inactivity the three first years of his life ; 
a period during which, I am convinced, nature urges 
upon the child's consciousness an immense variety of 
objects" {How Gertrude Teaches). 

Through these observations and experiments he was 
led to modify his ideas and methods from time to 



time. Thus in teaching writing at Burgdorf, he says : 
" Instead of getting the children to form letters with their 
pencils, as I had done at Stanz, I now gave them angles, 
squares, straight lines and curves to draw. During 
these endeavours, the idea of making an alphabet of 
forms [see p. 218] was gradually developed in me. I 
had not, however, at first, a very distinct notion of it 
myself, but in proportion as the subject emerged in my 
mind from its obscurity, my conviction of its importance 
for the whole of my proposed method of instruction in- 
creased. It was a long time before I saw quite clearly 
into it ; my progress was inconceivably slow. I had 
for several months, already, been engaged in the attempt 
to resolve the different means of instruction into their 
elements, and I had taken great trouble to reduce them 
to their greatest simplicity. Still I could not see their 
inter-connection ; or at any rate, I had not a clear con- 
sciousness ,of it, though I felt that I was advancing 
every hour, and that with rapid strides " {How Ger- 
trude Teaches). 

M. Tobler has this reference to Pestalozzi's experi- 
menting : '' I saw that he attached no value to the de- 
tails of his experiments, but tried many of them with a 
view to throw them aside again, as soon as they should 
have answered their temporary purpose. With many 
of them he had no other object than to increase the in- 
ternal power of the children, and to obtain for himself 
further information concerning the fundamental prin- 
ciples on which all his proceedings rested." 

M. Fischer, in a letter to Steinmuller (editor of Swiss 
Schoolmasters' Library), 20th December, 1799, writes : 
''It is almost incredible how indefatigably he makes 
experiments ; and inasmuch as he philosophises more 


after the experiments than before them — except as to a 
few guiding principles — he must needs increase them ; 
but the results gain in certainty thereby. ... In this 
way not only are many parts of the methods hitherto in 
use subjected to criticism, but also many forms and de- 
tails of methods are discovered and at once adapted to 
the new point of departure." 

Dr. Mayo gives us an account of the manner in 
which Pestalozzi would seize upon, and make use of, 
incidents in school work as the basis of principle and 
practice. " It was proposed to bring education more in 
contact with the child's own experience and observation, 
and to find in him the first link in the chain of his in- 
struction. In the execution of this plan, a series of 
engravings was provided, representing those objects 
which are familiar to children ; and the lessons con- 
sisted in naming their parts, describing their structure 
and use. One day, however, the master having pre- 
sented to his class the engraving of a ladder, a lively 
little boy exclaimed : ' But there is a real ladder in the 
courtyard ; why not talk about it rather than the pic- 
ture ! ' ' The engraving is here,' said the master, ' and 
it is more convenient to talk about what is before your 
eyes than to go into the courtyard to talk about the 
other.' The boy's observation, thus eluded, was for that 
time disregarded. 

*' Soon after, the engraving of a window formed the 
subject of examination; 'But why,' exclaimed the 
same little objector, 'talk of this picture of a window, 
when there is a real window in the room, and there is 
no need to go into the courtyard for it ? ' Again the 
remark was silenced, but in the evening both circum- 
stances were mentioned to Pestalozzi. ' The boy is 

10 * 


right,' said he; *the reality is better than the counter- 
feit ; put away the engravings, and let the class be in- 
structed by means of real objects.' The plan was 
adopted." Herein is also the evolution of the Object 

The foregoing will show that Pestalozzi was not 
ignorant of the methods of scientific inquiry, and that 
he did not fail to make use of them. He had studied 
natural history during his student days at Zurich ; and 
the researches which he, for several years, pursued be- 
fore writing his treatise On Legislation and Infanticide, the 
Inquiry, etc., and Essay on the Causes of the French Re- 
volution, must all have disciplined him, to some extent, 
for his educational investigations and speculations. 
But, after all, his supreme qualification for the work 
he did was just his genius. To genius it would seem, 
in some cases, that power is given to create a world of 
ideas from what had previously been almost a formless 
void ; whilst it is always its privilege to make actual 
what other men may not yet have dreamed to be even 
possible. Genius is the greatest of all influences in 
human affairs, and, therefore, speaking broadly, needs 
less influencing from other forces — and, indeed, is least 
open to the action of ordinary influences, because it is 
so much superior to them. The pity is that in the case 
of Pestalozzi the expression of his great thoughts is 
sometimes so indistinct and so involved that it is diffi- 
cult, if not impossible, to say exactly what he means. 
Yet there is an overwhelming force of truth and clear- 
ness in most of his work, and it is quite possible for his 
disciples to construct a sound and connected body of 
principles from what he has written ; and we now pro- 
ceed to make an attempt to do something of this sort. 


I. Education as the Means of Social Development. 

We must always remember that Pestalozzi was, first 
and last, a social and political reformer, and that he 
regarded the education of the poorer classes as the only 
sure means to bring about sound social reform. " Ele- 
mentary education alone can regenerate and save 
society," he said. Again, he writes: ** Let us hope 
that those who govern humanity will come to the con- 
viction that the betterment of the human race is their 
most important, indeed their sole, concern. I am con- 
vinced that, sooner or later, all that I wish for the 
education of the people will be realised." As a boy he 
got to know, through his visits to his uncle and grand- 
father, of the hard lot of the country people, and used 
to say : " When I am big, I shall stand up for the 
peasants ; they have a right to the same advantages as 
the townspeople ". When a student he had written, in 
Der Erinnerer : " I wish that all who work with their 
hands, all who live hard-working, frugal and self- 
supporting lives, should be looked upon as the pillars 
of our liberty, and be much more esteemed amongst us ". 
During this period he also published an essay in which 
he tells the history of Agis, King of Sparta, who en- 
deavoured to reform his people. Although brought up 
amidst the greatest luxury he lived a severely simple 
life, and tried to persuade his wealthier subjects to 
follow his example. He also tried to secure a fresh 
distribution of land amongst his people, so that general 
prosperity might be restored. He failed in his efforts, 
and paid for his boldness with his life. Pestalozzi 
eloquently praises Agis for his wisdom and courage. 

At Neuhof he begins his great educational work by 


trying to reclaim the outcast and poor ; at Stanz he 
seeks to save the orphans ; at Burgdorf he longs to 
return to his Poor School work ; at Yverdon he insists 
on returning to his first and constant love ; and, finally, 
w^hen he returns to Neuhof to die, he again begins his 
cherished labour of love for the poor and neglected. 
He sought to strengthen and refine the v^eakest and 
roughest link in the social chain. He says : " If we 
wish to aid the poor man, the very lowest among the 
people, we can do so only in one way, namely, by 
changing the schools of the people into places of true 
education, in which the moral, mental and physical 
powers, which God has put into our nature, may be 
drawn out, so that a man may be enabled to live such 
a life as he should live : happy in himself, and a bless- 
ing to others. Only in this way can a man, whom in 
the whole world nobody does really help because nobody 
can truly help, learn to help himself." This is a fine 
conception, and expression, of the truest and best way 
of helping others. It is universal in its truth, and 
Pestalozzi was always striving to make it universal in 
its application, 

Pestalozzi argues, in Leonard and Gertrude^ that if 
men are impoverished in mind and body they become 
degraded in both, and develop such vices as dishonesty, 
low cunning, craftiness, suspicion, wild violence, re- 
vengefulness and cruelty. They lose all, what are 
commonly called, the natural affections and develop 
many of the worst animal instincts : cruelty to their 
own offspring, treachery to one another, and bestial 
living. Thus society not only loses all the advantages 
which might be obtained by providing means for culti- 
vating the powers for good which are in every man, but 


suffers the positive dangers and disasters of having to 
control viciously disposed human beings. 

It is, therefore, a duty of society to provide education 
for all, both because all God's gifts to man are good, 
and lay upon us the obligation of using them well and 
rightly ; and because the self-interests of society are 
concerned in getting the best, and not the worst, from 
each and every member of the social body. The first 
aim of governments should, therefore, be to get the 
most and the best from the working classes. They 
should, at least, take as intelligent a view of the situa- 
tion as the slave-owner, viz., that the better the workers 
are cared for the better it will be for the money-bags. 
Even such a mercenary motive would lead to a very 
different treatment of the peasants. 

The value of a man to the community in which he 
lives depends almost wholly upon the full and right 
development of his faculties, and the proper employ- 
ment of his trained powers. To this end the social 
institutions, morals and methods of education need to 
be of the best. If men lack social culture they tend to 
remain in the state of primitive man ; and true justice 
and security are impossible in the society in which they 
live. Education should prepare individuals for what 
they will be in the community. They should be so 
trained that they use their abilities to the greatest 
possible advantage, whether it be as ploughmen or 

As a matter of fact, says Pestalozzi, we find that the 
children of the poor are the best educated in relation 
to the work they will have to do in the community. 
Mothers and fathers instinctively see what is necessary 
and best for their children — in the state of life in which 


they live and are likely to live — and they find, in do- 
mestic affairs, the v^ays and means for educating them. 
If they did not do this they would, in time, certainly 
lose their positions in the industrial world. Hence it 
has become a tradition to pass on from generation to 
generation a domestic education. 

The children of the working classes are, in the above 
sense, far better educated than those of the well-to-do ; 
and this because they have not been to school. The 
methods of the schools are so wrong and unsuitable 
that they do far more harm than good. They are too 
abstract, too general, too superficial, and too little con- 
nected with, and similar to, family life. The reason that 
the old-fashioned education was so successful is that it 
was based upon, and given through, the actual affairs of 
life, and chiefly those of the home. So far, therefore, 
as we use schools for educating children they must in 
all important points resemble and reflect the home and 
home life. It is true that the school can supply the 
conditions of the common life of a community, which 
the home cannot ; but until the school has discharged 
the functions of the home, it is not able to do other, or 
higher, work. In mental, moral and physical education, 
the school must employ the matter and the manner of 
the good mother and the good home. 

Now, the first aim of the well-conducted home is to 
provide for the physical needs and comforts of each 
member of the family ; so the first aim of primary edu- 
cation should be based upon the primary needs of human 
beings. It should, therefore, be industrial and practical 
in its methods, in the first instance. To live, man must 
eat ; to eat, he must work for food ; and to work well, he 
must be well trained for work. There is a wise old saw 


amongst the common people which says, " First learn 
your trade, and then talk about it ". This contains 
much wisdom, for in learning to work many instructive 
experiences are gone through : the habit of fixed atten- 
tion is developed : the power of judgment is exercised 
and sharpened : and the feelings and sentiments are 
developed. Thus the mind is best prepared — by actually 
finding out certain general rules of actions and conduct, 
and by the observation and consideration of single facts 
— to proceed to deal with general principles, and the in- 
vestigation of details through instruction at school. 

It will, says Pestalozzi, be said that domestic edu- 
cation is impossible because mothers are not qualified 
to give it. This difficulty was always present to his 
mind ; he frequently refers to it ; and he believed that 
he had solved it. Speaking of his work at Stanz, he 
says: '' My aim was to carry the simplification of the 
means of teaching so far that all the common people 
might easily be brought to teach their children, and 
gradually to render the schools almost superfluous for 
the first elements of instruction. As the mother is the 
first to nourish her child physically, so, also, by the 
appointment of God, she must be the first to give it 
spiritual nourishment ; I consider that very great evils 
have been brought about by sending children too early 
to school, and by all the artificial means of educating 
them away from home. The time will come, so soon 
as we shall have simplified instruction, when every 
mother will be able to teach, without the help of others, 
and, thereby, at the same time continue her own educa- 
tion " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

Education must be practical in the sense that it must 
prepare the individual to find happiness in his life's 


work, whatever it may be ; and, in all circumstances, 
to be a useful member of society. Every man should 
be educated for his station in life, whether he be legis- 
lator, lawyer, clergyman, or a member of any other pro- 
fession. In like manner the poor should be educated 
for poverty. Children in orphanages, and other be- 
nevolent institutions, should be thus educated. If they 
are they will be able to earn enough to pay for their 
schooling, and something over; and the state will be 
relieved from their after care — because of failure arising 
from their ignorance and incapacity. Pestalozzi sums 
up his position thus : " I simply put to myself the 
question : What would you do if you wished to give a 
single child all the theoretical knowledge and practical 
skill which he requires in order to be able to attend 
properly to the great concerns of life, and so attain to 
inward contentment ? . . . What are the means of de- 
veloping in the child those practical abilities, which the 
ultimate purpose of his existence, as well as the change- 
able positions and relations of life, will or may require 
of him, and cultivating them to such a degree of per- 
fection that the fulfilment of his duties will be to 
him, not only possible or easy, but in reality a second 

Children thus educated will be very unlikely to desire 
to engage in work other than that for which they have 
been prepared ; unless, in individual cases, there is very 
special ability and favourable opportunities. At the 
same time it must not be forgotten that the earliest 
education given will, in all cases, be quite general and 
preparatory, not special or professional. The latter 
needs a well-prepared mind and nature, or it cannot 
possibly be fully successful. Education does not aim 


at making good artisans, tradesmen, etc., but good men 
who will certainly become good tradesmen, artisans, etc. 
To omit this practical training, or to give theoretical 
instruction before it, is to put the cart before the horse : 
to make preachers and prattlers instead of doers and 
thinkers : and mere guessers instead of investigators. 
Domestic work and duties : the importance of careful 
attention and correct method in doing them : the need 
of prompt, cheerful and willing obedience : the constant 
thinking of, and working for, others, all tend to develop 
both the heart and the mind, and to make good men 
and good citizens. The mother and the home, there- 
fore, and not the book and the school, are the right and 
proper beginnings of education. 

n. Education as a Means of Moral and Relig^ious 

The chief end of education is morality, for the human 
element in our nature can only be truly developed 
through the development of the godlike element which 
is present in man. Man is destined for eternity. The 
true mother says : '* ' My children are born for eternity, 
and confided expressly to me that I may educate them 
for being children of God '. . . . She hails in her offspring 
not merely the citizen of the world : ' Thou art born,' 
she cries, ' for immortality, and an immortality of 
happiness : such is the promise of thy heaven-derived fac- 
ulties ; such shall be the consummation of thy Heavenly 
Father's love ' " (On Infants' Education). Hence the 
good home gives the best moral training, whether for 
private or for public life. This is chiefly because it is in 
the relation of the child to the mother that all true 
morality begins ; and because we must be moral before 


we can be religious, i.e., until we have right feelings and 
conduct towards our brother, whom we have seen, we 
cannot have right feelings and conduct towards God, 
whom we have not seen. Pestalozzi sets out his views 
on these points in a very clear and charming way. 

" I find that the feelings of love, confidence and 
gratitude, and the habit of obedience, require to be 
developed in man, before they can be directed to the 
Divine Being as their object. I must love men, con- 
fide in men, be grateful to men, and obey men, before I 
can cherish the same feelings, and practice the same 
virtues towards God, ' for he that loveth not his brother, 
whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he 
hath not seen '. 

"The question then is: What are the means of 
awakening in the child, love, confidence, gratitude and 
obedience, with regard to man ? I answer : All those 
virtues originate in the relationship established between 
the infant and its mother. The mother is impelled, as 
it were, by instinct to nurse and foster her child, to 
afford him shelter and happiness. She satisfies all his 
wants, she removes from him all that is unpleasant to 
him, she assists his helplessness, the child is provided 
for and made happy : the seed of love begins to be 

" A new object strikes his senses ; he is astonished, 
afraid, he cries ; the mother presses him more fondly to 
her bosom, she plays with him, amuses him ; he ceases 
from crying, but the tears remain in his eyes. The object 
re-appears, the mother throws round him again her pro- 
tecting arms, and comforts him with a smile; he cries 
no longer, his bright unclouded little eye answers the 
mother's smile : the seed of confidence has taken root, 


" The mother runs to the cradle whenever he has 
any want ; she is there in the hour of hunger, at her 
breast his cravings are satisfied ; when he hears her 
step approaching his cryings cease ; when he sees her, 
he stretches out his little arms ; while hanging at her 
bosom his eyes beam with satisfaction ; mother and 
satisfaction are to him but one idea — it is that of grati- 

*' The germs of love, confidence and gratitude grow 
rapidly. His ear listens to his mother's footsteps ; his 
eye follows her shadow with a smile ; he loves those 
who resemble her : a being who resembles his mother 
is, in his idea, a kind being. He beholds the human 
form, the form of his mother, with delight : whoever is 
dear to his mother is dear to him ; he embraces those 
whom she embraces, and kisses those whom she kisses : 
the love of mankind, brotherly love, springs up in his 
heart- . . . 

'' Nature opposes the storming child by unbending 
necessity. The child knocks against wood and stone ; 
nature remains unbending, and the child ceases to 
knock against wood and stone. The mother also be- 
gins to oppose in the same manner the turbulence of 
his desires. He raves and kicks : she remains inexor- 
able — he ceases to cry, and accustoms himself to subject 
his will to hers : the seeds of patience and obedience 
are unfolding themselves in his heart. 

''By the united action of love, gratitude, confidence 
and obedience, the conscience is awakened : the first 
shade of a feeling that it is wrong to rave against a 
loving mother ; that the mother is not in the world for 
his sake only. This leads to the feeling that other 
beings and things, nay, he himself, are not made for 


his sake only : and here are the first germs of duty, of 
right. . . . 

" The infant trusts and obeys, but he is unconscious 
of the grounds of his confidence and of his obedience, 
and as he becomes gradually conscious of them, this 
power over him diminishes in the same proportion. He 
begins to feel himself, he leaves the hand of his mother, 
and a voice whispers in his bosom, ' I have no more 
need of my mother '. The mother reads in his eyes the 
rising thought, she presses her darling more affection- 
ately than ever to her bosom, and she says, with a voice 
such as he never heard before, ' Oh, my child, there is 
a God of whom thou wilt have need, though thou 
shouldst have no more need of me : a God who will 
protect thee when I am no longer able to do it : a God 
who will prepare for thee joy and happiness, when I 
have no more to give '. 

''Then rises in the child's bosom an unspeakable 
something, a holy feeling, an impulse of faith, that raises 
him above himself. He rejoices to hear the name of 
God from the lips of his mother, the feelings of love, 
gratitude and confidence, which the sympathies of her 
bosom kindled in him, are enlarged ; they now embrace 
his Heavenly Father, as they first did his earthly parents. 
The sphere of obedience is extended ; the .child now 
fears the eye of God, as it did before that of its mother ; 
and as for the mother's sake heretofore, so now he does 
right for the sake of God. . . . 

" The further development of those feelings requires 
the highest art of education. Those feelings are of 
divine origin, and on their preservation, therefore, 
depends the measure of moral power of which the child 
shall afterwards be possessed. Every means should 


be used to supply new fuel to those feelings, when the 
physical incentives cease, which called them forth in 
infancy; and the charms of the world should be pre- 
sented to the child in constant subserviency to those 

'' Here you must not trust to nature ; you must do 
all that is in your power to supply the place of her 
henceforth blind guidance, by the wisdom of experience. 
For the world which the child now enters, is not such 
as it went forth from the hands of the Creator ; it is a 
world full of deadly poison, both as regards his sen- 
sual enjoyments and the feelings of his moral nature ; 
a world full of warfare, selfishness, inconsistency, vio- 
lence, conceit, falsehood and deception " {How Gertrude 

In the world of morals, as in all else that concerns 
the development of the human being, it is life itself 
which must give the beginnings and the basis of educa- 
tion. The proper work of moral education is to secure 
the pure development of the will, in its highest and 
fullest form, through the continued and ever-loftier exer- 
cise of its power in love, gratitude and faith — the moral 
elements already brought into life and activity in the 
relations of the mother and the child. We must get 
the child to strive after moral perfection by teaching it 
to exercise its will through moral thoughts, feelings and 

"Man readily accepts what is good, and the child 
willingly listens to it ; but it is not for your sake that 
he desires it, master and educator, but for his own. 
The good to which you wish to direct him must not de- 
pend upon your varying moods or temper ; it must be 
a good which is good in itself and in the nature of 


things, and which the child can recognise, for itself, as 
good. He must feel that there is a necessity for your 
will in things which have to do with his well-being be- 
fore he can be expected to obey you. 

"Whatever he does gladly; whatever brings him 
credit ; whatever helps him to realise his greatest hopes ; 
whatever rouses his powers and enables him to say with 
truth / can : these things he wills. But will, in this 
sense, cannot be aroused by mere words ; it can only be 
brought into activity by the powers and feelings which 
come from general culture [humane education]. Words 
alone cannot give a real knowledge of things : they 
only give expression to, a picture of, what we already 
have in our minds. 

''Try, first, to broaden your children's sympathies, 
and, through satisfying their daily needs, to bring love 
and kindness into such unceasing association with 
their impressions and activity, that these sentiments 
may be engrafted in their hearts ; then try to give them 
such judgment and tact as will enable them to make a 
wise, sure and abundant use of these virtues in the 
circle in which they live. Finally, do not hesitate to 
touch on the difficult questions of good and evil, and 
the words connected with them. You must do this 
more particularly in connection with the ordinary 
events of everyday life, upon which all your teaching in 
these matters must be founded, so that the children 
may be reminded of their own actual feelings, and 
supplied, as it were, with solid facts upon which to base 
their conception of the beauty and justice of the moral 
life. . . . 

" Elementary moral education, considered as a whole, 
has three distinct elements : first, the children's moral 


sense must be aroused through their feeHngs being 
made active and pure ; then they must be exercised in 
self-control, and thus enabled to devote themselves 
steadily to that which is right and good ; finally, they 
must be brought to form for themselves, by reflection 
and comparison, a just idea of the moral rights and 
duties which belong to them by reason of their position 
and surroundings " (How Gertrude Teaches), 

Moral training is possible under all circumstances, and 
through all kinds of work. Work is, in itself, neither 
moral nor immoral, but the manner in which it is done 
is either one or the other. Therefore children can be 
as easily educated in morals whilst living in an in- 
dustrial institution as in any other circumstances. In- 
deed all forms of physical exercises have a direct 
connection with moral education. " If the physical 
advantage of gymnastics is great and uncontrovertible, 
I would contend that the moral advantage resulting 
from them is as valuable. . . . Gymnastics, well con- 
ducted, essentially contribute to render children not 
only cheerful and healthy, which, for moral education, 
are two all-important points, but also to promote among 
them a certain spirit of union, and a brotherly feeling, 
which are most gratifying to the observer. Habits of 
industry, openness and frankness of character, personal 
courage, and a manly bearing in suffering pain, are also 
among the natural and constant consequences of an 
early and a continued practice of exercises on the gym- 
nastic system " {On Infants' Education). 

Like Aristotle, Pestalozzi has a firm belief in the 
moral influence of music. He calls it " one of the most 
effective aids of moral education. ... It is the marked 
and most beneficial influence of music on the feelings, 



which I have always thought and always observed to 
be most efficient in preparing or attuning, as it were, the 
mind for the best impressions. The exquisite harmony 
of a superior performance, the studied elegance of the 
execution, may indeed give satisfaction to a connois- 
seur ; but it is the simple and untaught grace of melody 
which speaks to the heart of every human being. Our 
own national melodies, which have since time im- 
memorial been resounding in our native villages, are 
fraught with reminiscences of the brightest pages of our 
history, and of the most endearing scenes of domestic 
life. But the effect of music in education is not only to 
keep alive a national feeling : it goes much deeper ; if 
cultivated in the right spirit, it strikes at the root of 
every bad or narrow feeling, of every ungenerous or 
mean propensity, of every emotion unworthy of human- 


" I need not remind you of the importance of music 
in engendering and assisting the highest feelings of 
which man is capable. It is almost universally acknow- 
ledged that Luther has seen the truth, when he pointed 
out that music, devoid of studied pomp and vain orna- 
ment, in its solemn and impressive simplicity, is one 
of the most efficient means of elevating and purifying 
genuine feelings of devotion " (On Infants' Education). 

III. Education as a Means of Physical Development. 

Pestalozzi not only advocated and carried out system- 
atic physical education, but he had, as in other matters, 
a very deep insight into the nature of the elements and 
the ends of it. He says : "If, according to correct 
principles of education, all the powers of man are to be 
developed, and all his slumbering energies called into 


play, the early attention of mothers must be directed 
to a subject which is generally considered to require 
neither much thought nor experience, and, therefore, is 
generally neglected. I mean the physical education of 
children. Who has not a few general sentences at hand, 
which he will be ready to quote, but perhaps not to 
practise, on the management of children ? . . . 

"The revival of gymnastics is, in my opinion, the 
most important step that has been taken in this direc- 
tion. The great merit of the gymnastic art is not the 
facility with which certain exercises are performed, or 
the ability which they may give for certain exertions 
that require much energy and dexterity; though an 
attainment of that sort is by no means to be despised. 
But the greatest advantage resulting from a practice of 
such exercises, is the natural progression which has to 
be observed in the arrangement of them : beginning 
with those which, while they are easy in themselves, 
lead, as preparatory exercises, to others which are more 
complicated and more difficult. There is not, perhaps, 
any art in which it may be so clearly shown, that powers 
which appeared to be wanting, are to be developed by 
no other means than practice alone. . . . When ability 
is wanting altogether I know that it cannot be imparted 
by any system of education. But I have been taught 
by experience to believe that cases in which talents of 
any kind are absolutely wanting are very few. In most 
cases I have had the satisfaction to find that a faculty 
which had been given up as hopeless, instead of being 
helped to develop had been hindered and obstructed in 
its activity by a variety of exercises which tended to 
confuse the learner or deter him from further exertion. 

*' And here I would attend to a prejudice which is 
II * 


very common concerning gymnastics : it is frequently 
said that they may be very good for those who are 
strong enough ; but that those who are of a weak con- 
stitution would be altogether unequal to, and even 
endangered by, the practice of gymnastics. Now I will 
venture to say that this rests merely upon a misunder- 
standing of the first principles of gymnastics : that exer- 
cises must not only vary according to the strength of 
individuals, but that they should be, and indeed have 
been, devised for those also who were actually suffering. 
I have consulted the authority of the first physicians, 
who declared that, in cases which had come under their 
personal observation,individuals affected with pulmonary 
complaints — if these had not already gone too far — had 
been materially relieved and benefited by a constant 
practice of the few and simple exercises which the 
system, in such cases, proposes. . . . Exercises may be 
devised for every age, and for every degree of bodily 
strength, however reduced. . . . 

" Physical exercises ought by no means to be confined 
to those exercises which now receive the name of gym- 
nastics. By means of them strength and dexterity will 
be acquired in the use of the limbs in general ; but 
particular exercises ought to be devised for the practice 
of all the senses. This idea may at first seem a super- 
fluous refinement, or an unnecessary encumbrance of 
free development. We have acquired the full uses of 
our senses, it is true, without any special instruction of 
that sort : but the question is not whether these exer- 
cises are indispensable, but whether, under many cir- 
cumstances, they will not prove very useful. 

" How many are there of us whose eyes would, without 
any assistance, judge correctly of a dista^nce, or of the 


proportion of the size of different objects ? How many 
are there who distinguish and recognise the nice shades 
of colours, without actually comparing the one with 
the other ; or whose ears will be alive to the slightest 
variation of sound ? Those who are able to do such 
things with some degree of perfection, will be found to 
derive their facility either from a certain innate talent, 
or from constant and laborious practice. Now it is 
evident that there is a certain superiority in these attain- 
ments, which natural talent gives without any special 
exertion, and which instruction could never impart, 
though attended by the most diligent application. But 
if practice cannot do everything, at least it can do much ; 
and the earlier it is begun, the easier and the more per- 
fect must be the success" (On Infants\ Education). 

True physical education is much more than a develop- 
ing of muscle : it is a developing of mind. Not only 
does our very existence depend upon the proper exercise 
of our body, but the nurture of the intellectual powers, 
in the first instance, depends upon the activity and 
development of the physical powers. The inner unity 
of our nature depends upon, and demands, the har- 
monious and balanced development of body and mind. 
The mind would have little or nothing which would 
arouse its activities if it were not for the exercise of the 
senses and the general physical powers. 

The direct aim so far as the physical powers them- 
selves are concerned should be : (i) the development of 
strength, which can be secured through exercises which 
demand easy control of the limbs, and the overcoming of 
physical obstacles ; and (2) the development of grace, 
which may be obtained through exercises which require 
regular and rhythmic movements. 


The view of physical education which Pestalozzi held 
is evidently a very broad and comprehensive one. He 
sought to further normal development : to correct wrong 
and defective development : to train the special senses 
as well as the muscular system : to use gymnastics as 
a curative agent in cases of disease : to produce muscular 
power and skill : to afford pleasure and the development 
which comes from play : and to aid intellectual and 
moral development. With some of these points we 
shall deal further in a later chapter. 



We now come to the most important and the most 
difficult part of our study: Pestalozzi's ideas on the 
intellectual basis of all education, and the education of 
the intellect. This is most important because it is the 
most fundamental part of his thought and work ; and 
it is the most difficult because of the characteristics of 
his own mind and methods. However, we do but at- 
tempt to do something hke what Niederer tried to do 
for him, during his lifetime ; and what Pestalozzi him- 
self exhorted his disciples to do : systematise (as best 
we can) the great thoughts which he gave out so pro- 
fusely and so promiscuously. 

With his usual frankness and modesty, Pestalozzi 
disclaims any pretension to have set forth a complete 
theory and art of education. He writes: "When I 
assert positively that a man's powers are all part of an 
organic whole, I do not in the least wish to suggest 
that I have thoroughly apprehended either this or- 
ganism or its laws ; and when I state that a rational 
method must be followed in teaching, I do not for a 
moment pretend that I have always followed such a 
method, or that I have worked out all the details of 
one". In one passage he likens himself to "the 
Egyptian who first fastened the shovel to the horns of 
an ox, and so taught it to do the work of the man who 



digs; [and thus] led the way to the discovery of the 
plough, though he did not bring it to perfection " 
(How Gertrude Teaches). 

Since the end and aim desired must determine the 
ways and means adopted, we propose to give extracts 
in which Pestalozzi has summarised, more or less, his 
views on these two aspects of education. These are 
meant to serve as a summary of the preceding chapter 
and a preparation for part v. of this chapter. 

IV. What Education is. 

From the social aspect he says: "the education of 
men is simply the filing of each ring in the great chain 
which joins humanity together and makes it a whole. 
The mistakes of education are due to working at each 
ring of the chain separately, as though it were a separate 
unit, and not an integral part of the whole : as though 
the strength and utility of each ring were due to the 
fact of its being gilded, silvered, or even set with precious 
stones, and not due to the fact that it had been made 
supple and strong enough alwa57S to take part in all the 
movements of the chain in all its windings " {Leonard 
and Gertrude). 

"The ultimate end of education is not a perfection in 
the accomplishments of the school, but fitness for life ; 
not the acquirement of habits of blind obedience, and of 
prescribed diligence, but a preparation for independent 
action. We must bear in mind that whatever class of 
society a pupil may belong to, whatever calling he may 
be intended for, there are certain faculties in human 
nature common to all, which constitute the stock of the 
fundamental energies of man. We have no right to 
withhold from any one the opportunities for develop- 


ing all their faculties. It may be judicious to treat some 
of them with marked attention, and to give up the idea 
of bringing others to high perfection. The diversity 
of talent and inclination, of plans and pursuits, is a 
sufficient proof of the necessity for such a distinction. 
But I repeat that we have no right to shut out the 
child from the development of those faculties also, 
which we may not for the present conceive to be very 
essential for his future calling or station in life. . . . 

" Education, instead of merely considering what is to 
be imparted to children, ought to consider first what 
they may be said already to possess, if not as a de- 
veloped, at least as an involved faculty capable of de- 
velopment. Or if, instead of speaking thus in the 
abstract, we will but recollect, that it is to the great 
Author of life that man owes the possession, and is 
responsible for the use, of his innate faculties, education 
should not only decide what is to be made of a child, 
but rather inquire, what is a child quahfied for ; what 
is his destiny, as a created and responsible being ; what 
are his faculties as a rational and moral being ; what are 
the means pointed out for their perfection, and the end 
held out as the highest object of their efforts? They 
embrace the rightful claims of all classes to a general 
diffusion of useful knowledge, a careful development of 
the intellect, and judicious attention to all the faculties 
of man, physical, intellectual and moral " {On Infants' 

The moral side of education was regarded by Pesta- 
lozzi as directly social in its bearings. " In relation to 
society, man should be qualified by education to be a 
useful member of it. In order to be truly useful it is 
necessary that he should be truly independent. . . . 


True independence must fall and rise with the dignity 
of his moral character. ... A state of bondage, or of 
self-merited poverty, is not more degrading than a state 
of dependence on considerations which betray littleness 
of mind, want of moral energy, or of honourable feeling. 
. . . Education should contribute in giving happiness. 
The feeling of happiness does not arise from exterior 
circumstances ; it is a state of mind, a consciousness of 
harmony both with the inward and the outward world : 
it assigns their due limits to the desires, and it proposes 
the highest aim to the faculties of man " {On Infants' 

From the personal or individual point of view Pesta- 
lozzi says that " education consists in returning to the 
methods of Nature, and in developing and improving 
the dispositions and powers of man. . . . [It] involves 
the harmonious balance of all a man's powers, and this 
involves the natural development of each and all. Each 
power must be developed according to the laws of its 
own nature, and these are not the same for the heart, 
for the mind, and for the body " {Swan's Song). 

'' Each of our moral, mental and bodily powers must 
have its development based upon its own nature, and 
not based upon artificial and outside influences. 

"Faith must be developed by exercises in believ- 
ing, and cannot be developed from the knowledge and 
understanding, only, of what is to be believed ; thought 
must grow from thinking, for it cannot come simply 
from the knowledge and understanding of what is to be 
thought, or the laws of thought ; love must be developed 
by loving, for it does not arise merely from a knowledge 
and understanding of what love is, and of what ought 
to be loved; art, also, can only be cultivated through 


doing artistic work and acquiring skill, for unending 
discussion of art and skill will not develop them. Such 
a return to the true method of Nature in the method of 
the development of our powers necessitates the sub- 
ordination of education to the knowledge of the various 
laws which govern those powers" {Address, on Seventy- 
second Birthday). 

Pestalozzi thus speaks of his own efforts to follow the 
method of nature: "The more I pursued the track of 
nature, the more I strove to connect my endeavours 
with her working and exerted myself to keep pace with 
her, the more did I perceive the immense progress of 
her course ; and, to my astonishment, I found the child 
endowed with sufficient power to follow her. The only 
weakness I met with was [my own] inability to make 
the best use of what was already in existence ; I found 
myself guilty of the weakness of presumption, in making 
myself the moving power, instead of merely collecting 
materials for an internal power of action ; or rather, in 
attempting to cram that into the child, which is only to 
be drawn forth from him, as it is primitively deposited 
in him, and requires nothing but a stimulus of life to 
give the impulse for its development. I now thought 
thrice before I presumed to imagine anything too diffi- 
cult for the children ; and ten times before I ventured 
' It is beyond them '. I was brought to the firm convic- 
tion that all instruction, to have a truly enlightening 
and cultivating influence, must be drawn out of chil- 
dren and, as it were, begotten within their minds " {How 
Gertrude Teaches). 

Again he says : " The idea of elementary education, 
to which I have devoted my life, consists in re-estab- 
lishing the course of nature, and in developing and 


improving the tendencies and powers of humanity " 
{Swans Song). It is interesting to compare this state- 
ment with one by so modern, and competent, an au- 
thority as Sir James Crichton Browne : " Education is 
the guidance of growth ". 

*' Elementary education, accurately defined, is the 
outcome of the efforts of the human race to give such 
assistance to the course of nature in the development 
and perfecting of our powers, as the intelligent love, 
the trained thought, and the enlightened artistic sense 
of our race are capable of giving. Left to itself the 
course of nature is only quickened by the animal in- 
stincts. It is the duty of the race, and the aim of 
elementary education — as of religion and wisdom — to 
animate the course of nature by human and divine in- 
fluences. . . . Only that which takes possession of man 
as a whole (heart, mind and hand) is educative in the 
true sense of the word, and in accordance with nature. 
Anything which does not so take possession of him, is 
not in accord with nature, and is not, therefore, in the 
true sense of the word, humanly educative. All one- 
sided development of any one of our powers is not true 
education " (Swan's Song). 

" What natural instinct has done unconsciously, but 
with sure and certain success, the educator must con- 
tinue, through his insight and intuitive knowledge ; 
what has resulted from the necessities of nature, must 
be continued by education, guided by reason : and must 
be equally thorough and complete in its treatment and as 
certain of success " (On the Idea of Elementary Education). 

" Man can, at best, do no more than assist the 
child's nature in the effort which it makes for its own 
development ; and to do this, so that the impressions 


made upon the child may always be commensurate, and 
in harmony, with the measure and character of the 
powers already unfolded in him, is the great secret of 
education. The perceptions to which a child is led by 
his instruction must, therefore, necessarily be subjected 
to a certain order of succession, the beginning of which 
must be adapted to the very first unfolding of the child's 
powers, and its progress kept exactly parallel with that 
of the child's own development. [We must] discover 
those successions throughout the whole range of human 
knowledge, but especially in those essentials in which 
the development of the human mind takes its beginning " 
(How Gertrude Teaches). 

Pestalozzi is very definite in his view that the idea of 
education must be such that it clearly recognises that 
human life is evolutionary in its processes — what we 
should now call the organic and genetic view of education. 
He says that elementary education deals, essentially, 
with human nature as a unity, as a whole ; and with 
the whole system of its powers and dispositions. " The 
idea of elementary education is a general idea which 
must necessarily be divided into moral, mental and 
physical education for purposes of exposition and ap- 
plication, but such single divisions never occur in human 
life : on the contrary, the moral, mental and physical 
always interpenetrate, for human nature is a unity" 
{On the Idea of Elementary Education). He makes use 
of several analogies to show what he means, e.g., "A 
child is a being endowed with all the faculties of human 
nature, but none of them developed : a bud not yet 
opened. When the bud uncloses every one of the leaves 
unfolds, not one remains behind. Such must be the 
process of education " {On Infants Education). 


Again in his treatise On the Idea of Elementary Educa- 
tion, he says that education must imitate the processes 
of nature. In every plant, at every stage of growth, 
there is a harmonious and interdependent development 
of substance and form, so that at any and every period 
of its growth, the plant is (i) complete in its whole 
being, i.e., neither too advanced nor too backward in any 
particular details, but a well-balanced whole; and (2) 
incomplete, inasmuch as it is always growing. Just so, 
in education, the child must always appear to be' both 
complete and incomplete : complete as to the particular 
stage of its development, incomplete as to its unending 
development. The pupil must grow out of himself into 
his surroundings and position. 

Education must provide whatever is necessary to 
nourish every single human power : the activities and 
exercises which shall call forth and improve each and 
every faculty: and the proper gradation of such 
exercises so as to suit the increasing capacity and 
strength of such powers and faculties. A child is a 
living self-active force which, from the earliest moment 
of its being, acts organically on its own development. 
Nothing can efficiently act upon the child unless the 
child acts upon it. The laws and activities of the child, 
as an organism, are within itself. Whatever nature, the 
mother, and the domestic surroundings may give to the 
child in the way of stimulations and impressions — so 
absolutely necessary for its existence and well-being — 
these only impel and condition the child's activities ; 
they have not, and cannot have, any power over the 
nature of these activities. Human capacities develop 
out of themselves and according to their own nature : 
experiences are the cause of the particular form and 


content of the development, but not of its being and 
fundamental characteristics. 

A typical summary definition is given in the following 
passage : " Education does not consist in a series of ad- 
monitions and corrections, of rewards and punishments, 
of injunctions and directions, strung together without 
unity of purpose, or dignity of execution ; it ought to 
present an unbroken chain of measures, originating in 
the same principle : a knowledge of the constant laws 
of our nature ; practised in the same spirit : a spirit of 
benevolence and firmness ; and leading to the same end : 
the elevation of man to the true dignity of a spiritual 
being" {On Infants Education). 

Perhaps the clearest and fullest expression of Pesta- 
lozzi's view of the organic and genetic nature of edu- 
cation is given in the following: "The mechanism of 
nature is everywhere sublime but simple. Imitate it, 
oh man ! Imitate nature, that from the seed of the 
greatest tree produces at first nothing but a hardly per- 
ceptible growth, which slowly and insensibly increasing 
from day to day, and hour to hour, gradually develops 
into trunk, branches, twigs and leaves. Observe care- 
fully how nature protects and strengthens each new part 
as it is developed, that it may serve in its turn as the 
source of still further development. 

" Observe hov^7 the flower only develops after having 
been formed in the heart of the bud, how the beauty of 
its first days soon passes away, giving place to the fruit, 
as yet but a feeble growth, but already complete in its 
essential features ; and how for months this fruit hang- 
ing to the branch which nourishes it, grows and develops 
till finally, ripe and perfect, it falls from the tree. 

" Observe how nature no sooner brings the first shoot 


above the ground than it sends forth the first sprouting 
of the root, and gradually carries deep into the bosom 
of the earth the noblest part of the tree ; how by a subtle 
process it develops the stationary trunk from the very 
heart of the root, and the branches from the heart of the 
trunk ; how, to each part, no matter how feeble or how 
subordinate, it supplies the necessary nurture — yet 
there is nothing useless, inappropriate, or superfluous " 
{How Gertrude Teaches). 

In another place he writes: ''The moral, spiritual 
and artistic capabilities of our nature must grow out of 
themselves". "The gardener plants and waters, but 
God giveth the increase." As Raumer well remarks on 
these statements: "It is not the educator that im- 
plants any faculty in man ; it is not the educator that 
gives breath and life to any faculty : he only takes care 
that no external influence shall fetter and disturb the 
natural course of the development of man's individual 
faculties," and, we may add, does all that learning, wis- 
dom, practical skill and opportunity enable him to 
supply the best of everything needed for the best de- 

Pestalozzi's estimate of the importance of the organic 
and genetic elements in the principles of education was 
by no means incidental or superficial : he grasped both 
their historical and scientific values. He says : " Nature 
required ages to raise the race to perfect power of speech, 
yet we learn this art in a few months. [But] we must 
take exactly the same course as nature followed with the 
human race." Again : " Apart from all special teach- 
ing, I have endeavoured to find the nature of teaching 
itself; and the original type according to which nature 
herself has determined the instruction of our race ". 


Froebel clearly recognised this idea of organic de- 
velopment in Pestalozzi's system. Writing to the Prin- 
cess Regent of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, on 27th April, 
i8og, to report as to his opinion of Pestalozzi's prin- 
ciples and work — ^Froebel being at that time resident in 
the institution of Yverdon — he says: " He has a whole 
man in his eye, as an unseparated and inseparable 
whole, and in all that he does and wishes to do for him 
and his cultivation, he does it for him as a whole. At no 
time does he act only for the development of one power, 
leaving the others without nourishment ; for example, 
he is never acting for the mind alone and leaving un- 
considered, unsatisfied, uncared for, inactive, the body 
and the soul, all the powers are cared for at all times. 

" But often one or other of the three great divisions 
of man's nature stands forth and apparently dominates 
the others. 

" Pestalozzi takes into view man according to and in 
his manifestations, according to the laws of nature, and 
those which are grounded in the mind of man, when he 
works specially upon the predominating power ; it is not 
done in an isolated and divided way, but in order to 
work through his treatment upon the other equal but 
slumbering and resting powers. So, for example, in one 
and the same epoch upon the senses, through these 
upon the body, and through these again upon the 
feelings, and so on in a perpetual round." 

Similarly Herbart writes: "A perfect regularity in 
the sequence of studies adapted to all requirements was 
to me the ideal which I looked upon as the ever present 
means of ensuring to all instruction its real efficiency. 
It was the discovery of this sequence, of the arrange- 
ment and co-ordination of what was to be learned con- 



temporaneously and what consecutively, which formed, 
as I understood it, Pestalozzi's chief aim " (Herbart's 
letter on How Gertrude Teaches), 

Intellectual education is declared by Pestalozzi to be 
the pure development of our power of knowing — the 
reason — by the perfectly simple method of making the 
use of the reason habitual. Now all the activities of 
the mind are exercised upon (i) the mental results of 
those original impressions which the objects of the 
outer world make upon us, and (2) the analysing, com- 
paring and combining of such mental results. Educa- 
tion must, therefore, be based upon, imitate, and assist 
the natural processes of the mind, i.e., it must be psy- 
chological. Pestalozzi said : " I want to psychologise 
education ". 

V. The Process of Intellectual Education. 

It is clear, from the above, that the starting-point of 
intellectual education must be the impressions made 
upon the mind by experiences, for these are the only 
materials upon which mind can act ; and they have, so 
to say, a compelling force to which the mind inevitably 
responds. The result of the action and reaction, be- 
tween the mind and the impression, is that an intel- 
lectual product is formed — an idea. To illustrate what 
Pestalozzi means, we may give this example : if a piece 
of ice is put into the hand of a child this produces a 
certain effect upon consciousness, which we express by 
saying that the mind has the idea of coldness. Of 
course the child need have no knowledge of the name 
''coldness". The effect upon consciousness is, under 
ordinary circumstances, inevitable and absolute ; and 
there must necessarily be set up in the mind what we 


call the idea of coldness. Such fundamental elements 
are involved in all ideas ; and by their combinations and 
relations (through judgment) are derived complex ideas. 

Thus we arrive at the very heart and centre of Pesta- 
lozzi's theory of education. All mental life and activity 
begins in this way, therefore all true education must 
begin, continue and end in this way. He speaks of 
these fundamental processes as anschauung. This word 
has been variously translated into English as (i) intui- 
tion, (2) sense-impression, and (3) observation. We 
shall follow Pestalozzi's own plan and use all three 
terms, because they express the various phases of its 
meaning, viz., (i) of seemingly direct cognition or im- 
mediate knowing ; and (2) the mediate knowing of ex- 
ternal things, for which there must be both observation 
and sense-impression. Pestalozzi, in one place, defines 
anschauung thus: "It is simply the actual manifesta- 
tion of external things, and the raising in consciousness 
the impression which they excite". 

This original or native capacity for knowing is well 
put in another passage in which Pestalozzi says : " I 
endeavoured to investigate the exact time of life when 
instruction begins, and I soon arrived at the conviction 
that the first hour of instruction is the hour of birth : 
the first tutor is nature : and her tuition begins from 
the moment when the child's senses are opened to the 
impressions of the surrounding world. The feeling 
of novelty by which life first surprises the infant, is in 
itself nothing else than the first waking up of the capa- 
bility of receiving those impressions. It is the arousing 
of all the germs of physical powers, whose growth is 
completed, and whose whole energy and sole tendency 
is now directed towards their expansion and cultivation. 

12 * 


The animal is entirely formed, and something above the 
animal is awakened in it, which, while it clearly testi- 
fies the destination of the new-born being for a human 
existence, gives him at the same time a positive impulse 
towards the attainment of that purpose." 

That the wider meaning of the term is used by Pesta- 
lozzi is clearly shown by his own statement : " Anschau- 
ung is the immediate and direct impression produced 
by the world on our inner and outer senses, i.e., the im- 
pressions of the moral world on our moral sense, and of 
the physical universe on our bodily senses ". 

This, so to say, is the germ form of knowing. If the 
mind could not know for itself, as we say, it could not 
be taught to know ; any more than a blind man could 
be taught to see. As Professor James says: "The 
mere existence of a thing outside the brain is not a suf- 
ficient cause for our knowing it : it must strike the brain 
in some way, as well as be there, to be known. But 
the brain being struck, the knowledge is constituted by 
a new construction that occurs altogether in the mind. 
. . . And when once there, the knowledge may remain 
there, whatever becomes of the thing." 

Pestalozzi has expressed his own view of the import- 
ance of this in education. He writes : " If I look back 
and ask myself what I have really done towards the 
improvement of the methods of elementary instruction, 
I find that in recognising intuition as the absolute basis 
of all knowledge, I have established the first and most 
important principle of instruction ; and that, setting 
aside all particular systems of instruction, I have en- 
deavoured to discover what ought to be the character 
of the instruction itself, and what are the fundamental 
laws according to which the education of human nature 


must be determined in accordance with nature ". He 
also remarks: *' Intuition is the absolute basis of all 
knowledge ; in other words, all knowledge must proceed 
from intuition and must admit of being retraced to that 
source " (How Gertrude Teaches), 

To use an illustration to emphasise Pestalozzi's point, 
we may say that he argues that just as in geometry 
(Euclid) all the most complex and important proofs and 
demonstrations grow out of the axioms — which are, in 
fact, intellectual intuitions — and postulates and must, 
in the last resource, be resolvable into them ; so all the 
higher developments of thought and reason are based 
upon, and resolvable into, those beginnings of knowledge 
which he called intuitions. 

Now, the mind not only does achieve these intuitions, 
but it has, so to say, a longing and a desire to form 
them as often, and as much, as possible. Man has an 
inborn, instinctive, tendency to exercise, to the fullest 
extent, each and every power he possesses. As Pesta- 
lozzi so well expresses it: "We attain all our know- 
ledge through the infinite charm that the tree of 
knowledge has for the sensibility of our nature " 
{How Gertrude Teaches). This instinct for activity is 
aroused and augmented by every influence which acts 
upon it, as well as by its own native impulses. 

Hence we may say that the learner is, in a sense, able 
to create out of his own activities an organised body of 
knowledge about life. Education, from this point of 
view, is simply the art of assisting nature in its efforts 
after its own development. This is the reason for say- 
ing that thought must be developed from thinking. 
Thought can only grow out of what it is into what we 
wish it to be — its better, and best, forms. We must 


start all intellectual (and other) progress from the be- 
ginnings which the child makes — inevitably and neces- 
sarily makes — for itself, whenever the right conditions 
are present. 

" It is life that educates," must be the foundation 
principle of all true education, i.e., such as is in har- 
mony with Nature. The mere opening of the eyes, 
hearing of sounds, touching of things, and so on, are all 
educative processes ; but they are not necessarily the 
best, or even a good, form of education. The educator 
is to the education of life, what the gardener is to the 
garden : he removes the weeds and all injurious things ; 
and provides, as far as possible, every good and helpful 
condition for the fullest living and the best growth. 
But the growth and all that is produced is of the living 
organism ; the man can only influence the growth and 
the products — towards perfection — by making the con- 
ditions the best possible. 

Knowledge comes, through intuitions, in several differ- 
ent ways, viz., (i) By Accident, i.e., from any and every 
impression which may influence the individual as he goes 
through life. Knowledge so gained is, necessarily, more 
or less irregular, confused, of slow growth, and limited. 
(2) From Environment, i.e., the special conditions which 
immediately surround a person. This is largely deter- 
mined by parents and teachers, and its value will depend 
upon their knowledge and skill in ordering and using 
the surroundings. (3) From Study, i.e., the self-directed 
search for knowledge. Perceptions thus gained are 
of the highest possible value in themselves, and will 
qualify us for self-education. (4) From Occupation, which 
gives us chiefly moral perceptions, or ideas of duty, 
virtue and justice, We are also much helped towards 


clear ideas by knowledge gained in this way. (5) From 
Analogy and Reasonings by which we are able to judge 
of the nature of things which have never directly acted 
upon our minds, by making a constructive (reasoned) 
use of the knowledge which we have gained from im- 
mediate impressions from things. We are able to get 
knowledge from knowledge ; e.g.y a child who has learned 
to observe with elementary accuracy only a few farm- 
houses, and accurately to express such observations in 
words, has thereby got to know the essential parts of 
architecture, and can apply his ideas to the under- 
standing of buildings which he has never seen {How 
Gertrude Teaches). 

Knowledge passes through several stages, viz., from 
confused to definite perceptions ; from definite to clear 
perceptions ; from clear perceptions to distinct ideas. 
This development in the perfecting of our ideas is 
brought about by grouping, separating and comparing 
the objects of perception. Objects often impress us in 
such a way that only some of their unimportant or ac- 
cidental qualities become known to us. Thus we may 
be led to form very wrong, or misleading, ideas about 
them ; but by grouping objects which have the same 
essential qualities, our insight into their real nature is 
made more complete and correct, and we are much less 
likely to be led astray by single impressions. 

By separating and comparing objects we are able to 
arrive at the simplest elements of our perceptions — and 
the most complex perception can be thus reduced to 
its simplest elements — and so to raise our definite and 
clear conceptions to distinct ideas. There is no need 
to force all this on the learner, for the mind itself is so 
constituted that it involuntarily and irresistibly desires 


thus to obtain distinct ideas. All that is required is 
that sufficient help should be given to enable the pupil 
to do this with the greatest certainty of success. 

Since intuition is the foundation of all knowledge and, 
therefore, of the higher intellectual processes, viz., judg- 
ment and reasoning, it is most important that our in- 
tuitions should be accurate. No judgment or reasoning 
can be sound and complete unless the intuitions upon 
which it is founded are full and perfect. No higher step 
should, therefore, be attempted until the lower ones 
are thoroughly known. We must first get a complete 
mastery over the simple elements, and a facility in the 
use of them, before going forward to something more 
complex. We must proceed step by step ; each step 
being only a very slight addition to the previous one. 

Observation is the great instrument in the formation 
of perceptions [of external things] ; and care must be 
taken to observe the best and most characteristic 
specimens of any class of things, i.e., such as will give 
a correct idea of the real thing and of its most impor- 
tant qualities. For example, a lame, one-eyed, or six- 
fingered man would not convey a proper idea of the 
human form. When a suitable specimen has been 
properly observed, there arises the necessity of naming 
it ; after naming it we proceed to discover its parts and 
properties, and name these, i.e., describe the object ; and, 
finally, from a clear description of it we draft a definition, 
i.e., an expression of the distinct idea of the object. The 
accuracy and value of the definition will obviously de- 
pend upon the fulness and exactness of the observation 
and description ; and these will, in turn, depend upon 
the vitality and wisdom of the method of training of 
the children to habits of observation. 


Pestalozzi gives an emphatic warning against the 
great danger of substituting mere talks for real observa- 
tions. He says: " It is a mere fallacy to conclude, or 
to pretend, that knowledge has been acquired from 
the fact that terms have been memorised, which, if 
rightly understood, convey the expression of knowledge. 
This condition if rightly understood, which is the most 
material, is the most generally overlooked. . . . To 
guard against an error of this kind, the first rule is to 
teach always by things rather than by words. Let 
there be as few objects as possible named to the child, 
unless you are prepared to show the objects themselves. 
... Of objects which cannot be brought before the 
child in reality, pictures should be introduced " {On 
Infants' Education). 

We should not, in the early stages, make use of any 
truths which are not the outcome of our own intuitions. 
Every truth which is presented to the learner through 
verbal forms, and is not based in its essential elements 
on his own perceptions, remains, so to say, in the air — 
it has no means of really and truly connecting itself, in 
the child's mind, with that to which it relates. Endless 
truths so presented to the mind have far less educative 
influence on the development of thought than a single 
one based upon actual perception. 

Pestalozzi sums up by saying that he found " that all 
our knowledge proceeds from three elementary powers: 
(i) from the power of making sounds : the origin of lan- 
guage ; (2) from the indefinite, simple sense-power of 
forming images, out of which springs the consciousness 
of all forms ; and (3) from the definite, but no longer mere 
sense-power, of imagination, from which must be derived 
the consciousness of unity, and therewith the ability 


for calculating and reckoning. . . . The art of educat- 
ing the race must be based upon the first and simplest 
results of these three foundation-powers : sound, form 
and number . . . recognised by Nature herself as the 
common starting-point of all instruction. 

" In consequence of this recognition they must be in- 
corporated in forms which, universally and harmoniously, 
arise from the results of the three elementary powers of 
our nature, and which tend, essentially and surely, to 
make all instruction a steady and unbroken develop- 
ment of these fundamental powers, used in common 
and regarded as equally important. Only in this way 
is it at all possible to lead us, in all three branches, 
from obscure to definite sense-impressions, from definite 
sense-impressions to clear images, and from clear images 
to distinct ideas. Here ... I find the Art [of Educa- 
tion] ... a common basis of all the methods and arts 
of instruction. . . . Through knowing the unity, and 
form, and name of any object, the knowledge of it he- 
comes precise ; by gradually learning its other attributes 
the knowledge of it becomes clear ; and through con- 
sciousness of its totality the knowledge becomes distinct" 
{How Gertrude Teaches). 

In building up complete perceptions — the results of 
complete sense-impressions of all the parts of an object 
— the following points should be observed : (i) The 
process should be very gradual, and each step com- 
pletely and indelibly fixed in the mind. (2) All our 
perceptions should be related in our minds in a way 
exactly resembling the relation of the actual objects in 
nature. (3) All subordinates and non-essentials in real 
things should be represented in our minds by percep- 
tions which are regarded as subordinates and non- 


essentials. (4) Impressions of important things should 
be made clearer and stronger by bringing the objects 
near and letting them act on the various senses. Let 
it not be forgotten, e.g., that the perception of size de- 
pends upon the nearness or remoteness of physical 
objects. (5) All actions of physical things should be 
regarded as absolutely necessary : as the manifestations 
of the power which unites the seemingly diverse ele- 
ments which compose things, and which acts so that the 
things may fulfil their proper functions. (6) Regard this 
physical necessity as, nevertheless, having the elements 
of freedom and independence. 

Pestalozzi believed that these steps in the develop- 
ment of complete perceptions are based upon the essen- 
tial laws of nature, and have, collectively, a threefold 
source. The first source is nature itself, through the 
power of which the mind rises from vague sense-im- 
pressions to clear ideas. Herein are the foundations of 
the laws which give these educational principles, (i) 
All sense-impressions, in so far as they come from the 
essential nature of an object, help to form correct ideas ; 
whilst in so far as they belong to the accidental qualities 
of an object they are sources of error; (2) to correct 
ideas thus formed, and firmly impressed on the mind, 
many related sense-impressions can be easily — as it 
were involuntarily — added ; (3) the more strongly a 
correct idea is impressed, the more easily it develops 
rightly : and the more strongly a wrong idea is im- 
pressed, the more it develops wrongly; (4) by associat- 
ing like ideas, gained from like objects, insight into 
their inner truth becomes essentially and universally 
deeper, clearer and surer : one-sided and biassed im- 
pressions are thereby weakened ; and incomplete and 


wrong views are avoided ; (5) the most complex sense- 
impressions are based upon simple ones : make clear 
the simple, and the complex will become simple ; (6) 
the more senses employed in getting impressions of a 
thing, the more accurate will be the knowledge of it. 
These truths rest upon the nature of physical things 
and the nature of the mind. 

The second source is the power of sense-impression, 
which is intimately interwoven with the sensibility of 
our nature. This acts in two ways : firstly, in our 
desiring to experience and know everything ; and 
secondly, in our desiring to enjoy everything. The 
former stimulates to activity whilst the latter tends to 
passivity ; and they, so far, counteract each other. The 
former arouses curiosity, whilst the latter secures an 
opportunity for calm judgment. The former collects 
knowledge, the latter ripens it. 

The third source lies in the relation of our outer cir- 
cumstance to our perceiving-power. Man, so to say, 
makes his own world out of the circumstances by which 
he is surrounded : he learns all the realities of the 
world, in their merely physical aspects, wholly in the 
measure that the objects of the world which come to 
him through intuition [sense-impression] approach the 
centre in which he spins and weaves — for he is like a 
spider which is bound to the centre of the web which 
he spins himself. Growth is adaptation to environment. 

This outline, drawn from How Gertrude Teaches, gives 
us a bird's-eye view of Pestalozzi's educational psy- 
chology. He endeavours to work out these laws and 
principles in his methods of teaching, and we can better 
understand what he means by them by discovering how 
he applies them to practical education. The correspon- 


dence of his views with those of modern psychologists 
— always remembering that Pestalozzi was a pioneer — 
concerning the following points, is well worth particular 
attention : that the law of evolution prevails in all 
things : that development is organic and genetic : that 
ideas are developed through sense-impressions and per- 
cepts : that sense life is a susceptibility to external in- 
fluences and all mental life is a striving to know : and 
that all growth is an adaptation to environment. 

From the consideration of the general laws of nature 
and mind, so far as they concern the processes of educa- 
tion, Pestalozzi proceeds to what he regards as the laws 
which govern the action of mind as a thinking organism. 

The most potent means for making our perceptions 
clear and distinct, is the use of our knowledge of number, 
form and language. When a confused mass of objects 
is brought to our notice, we can only hope to make it 
clear and intelligible to ourselves by asking: (i) how 
many things, and how many kinds of things, are there ? 
(2) what is their appearance : their shape or outline ? 
and (3) what are the names and words which describe 
each ? The reason for this, says Pestalozzi, is that 
" All possible objects necessarily have number, form 
and name ; but the remaining properties which the 
senses enable us to perceive are not possessed by an 
object in common with all others, but one property is 
shared with one object, and another property with 
another object ". He adds that all the other qualities 
of things, which are made known to us by the senses, 
can be directly connected with the three elements : 
number, form and language. These are, according to 
Pestalozzi, the Necessary Forms of Thought. 

In his letters On Infants' Education he writes about 


"those exercises, which were adopted at my suggestion, 
as calculated to employ the mind usefully, and to pre- 
pare it for further pursuits, by eliciting thought and 
forming the intellect. I would call them preparatory 
exercises, in more than one respect. They embrace the 
elements of number, form and language ; and whatever 
ideas we may have to acquire in the course of our life, 
they are all introduced through the medium of one of 
these three departments. 

'*The relations and proportions of number and form 
constitute the natural measure of all those impressions 
which the mind receives from without. They are the 
measures, and comprehend the qualities, of the material 
world ; form being the measure of space, and number 
the measure of time. Two or more objects, dis- 
tinguished from each other, as existing separately in 
space, pre-suppose an idea of their forms, or in other 
words, of the exact space which they occup)^ ; dis- 
tinguished from each other as existing at different 
times, they come under the denomination of number." 

Speaking of the foundation idea — Anschaming — of all 
Pestalozzi's thought and work, Herbart calls it " the 
grand idea (Anschaming) of the genial, the noble Pesta- 
lozzi ". He adds : "The discoverer has worked out the 
same for only a narrow sphere, that of elementary edu- 
cation ; it belongs, however, to the whole of educa- 
tion, but it needs for that an extended development ". 
Herbart himself endeavoured to supply this extension in 
his educational writings. 

VI. The Work of the Teacher as Educator. 

From Pestalozzi's theories and principles of education 
it is quite clear what the function of the true educator 

THE teacher's FUNCTION. I9I 

is ; but Pestalozzi has also told us in set terms what he 
considers it to be. It will be sufficient for us to give 
extracts from his writings, leaving the reader to relate 
them to what has gone before. 

The educator's work consists " in a continual benevo- 
lent superintendence, with the aim of calling forth all 
the powers which Providence has implanted in man. 
. . . Giving a helping hand to the instinctive efforts 
after self-development. 

" The art of instruction consists in removing the con- 
fusion of the indefinite succession of preceptions, by 
distinguishing the objects from each other, and reunit- 
ing those that are analogous or related to each other, in 
one idea, which is to comprehend them all ; and present 
them to the mind in that clearness and distinctness 
which is obtained by separating their essential and 
common properties from the accidental peculiarities of 
each single object. First he must detach each percep- 
tion from those with which it is, in nature, interwoven ; 
then he must [get the child to] observe each single per- 
ception through all the variations and changes to which 
it is liable ; and, lastly, he must [get the child to] de- 
termine its proper place in the circle of knowledge 
which has been already acquired ; so that he advances 
progressively from confusion to distinctness, from dis- 
tinctness to clearness, and from clearness to insight " 
{How Gertrude Teaches), 

In connection with this selective function of the edu- 
cator Pestalozzi gives an interesting concrete example. 
He says that it is undesirable for children to go into the 
woods and meadows in order to learn about trees and 
plants. " Trees and plants do not there stand in the 
order best adapted to make the character of each class 


apparent ; and to prepare the mind by the first impres- 
sions of the objects for a general acquaintance with this 
department of science " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

The only way to help children ''to a real develop- 
ment of their mental faculties is : (i) Gradually to en- 
large the sphere of their intuition, i.e., to increase the 
number of objects falling under their own immediate 
perception. (2) To impress upon them those percep- 
tions of which they have become conscious with cer- 
tainty, clearness and precision. (3) To impart to them 
a comprehensive knowledge of language, for the ex- 
pression of whatever has become, or is becoming, an 
object of their consciousness, in consequence either of 
the spontaneous impulse of their own nature, or of the 
assistance of instruction " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

The educator must find out the objects best suited to 
call forth every sense : the actions which shall arouse 
the activity of every faculty of the child : the proper 
gradation of the simplicity and complexity of such 
objects and actions, so that they shall be in accordance 
with the increasing capacity of the senses, and the ex- 
tension of the powers. Both objects and actions should 
be presented in attractive, powerful and pleasant forms. 
If this be done the effects will be most truly educative ; 
and the child will be as animated and happy in its 
school hours as in its playtime. If the food necessary 
for fulness of life is properly presented it is only neces- 
sary to lead children, never to drive them, to it. 

Since the beginning of the human race, men have 
been trying to make easier the progress of the learner 
from the elements of the culture of the power of intuition 
to the elements of the culture of the power of thought ; 
and at raising the common sense which is gained by the 


simple perception of objects of Nature to the level of 
the logical certainty of the power of thought and judg- 
ment. The educator has to continue this. 

The work of the educator is to see that the child's 
human instincts are exercised in human affairs ; and to 
do this by causing self-activity and self-realisation from 
within, not by dictating or enforcing a cut-and-dried 
system from without. He must secure the positive 
quickening of what is good ; not the mere repression of 
what is evil, in the child. Truth must be so cultivated 
that falsehood is, as it were, crowded out : the intellec- 
tual and moral powers must be made so strong that the 
sensuous powers are overwhelmed. In the mind of the 
educator there must always be the clear and conscious 
aim of serving the divine nature in the child, so as to 
help it to its full development, and in no way to hinder 
or harm it. But the educator must serve only the 
life and the law of the child's nature, not its whims 
or its personal preferences. 

Instruction must be given through a series of exer- 
cises so graduated by the educator, that the starting- 
point is, in every case, well within the comprehension 
of the pupil ; and the consecutive progress through the 
series must always exercise the pupil's powers, without 
exhausting them, so that there is a continuous, easy 
and attractive progress, in which knowledge and the 
practical application of it are always closely connected. 

In concluding this study of Pestalozzi as a thinker 
we will give five outline summaries of his theory of edu- 
cation. Three of these are by men who knew Pesta- 
lozzi well, and worked with him — Fischer, Niederer 
and Dr. Mayo ; and two of them are by able commenta- 
tors on Pestalozzi's theories — Morf and Payne, 





I. To give the mind an 
intensive culture, and not 
simply extensive : to in- 
crease the strength and skill 
of all the powers of the 
mind, and not to content 
oneself vi^ith furnishing it 
■with many and various 

2. To furnish the mind 
with fundamental data, 
mother ideas, for all its 

3. To connect all in- 
struction with the study of 

4. To simplify the me- 
chanism of instruction and 

5. To popularise science. 


I. The aim is the de- 
velopment of man as a 
whole, with all his moral, 
physical, and intellectual 
powers ; the particular 
lines of the development 
depending upon his posi- 
tion in the world — in other 
words, upon the actual life 
that awaits him. 

2. The starting-point of 
the exercises in instruction 
is to be found in the notions 
the child has already ac- 
quired, in his present 
tastes, needs and powers. 

3. The comiection of the 
exercises in instruction is 
the order in which they 
follow each other, which 
order must be so carefully 
graduated that each exer- 
cise shall give the child the 
desire and the power to do 
the next. 


, I. Education should be 
essentially religious : Its 
end and aim should be 
to lead a creature, born 
for immortality, to that 
conformity to the image 
of God in which the glory 
and happiness of immor- 
tality consists. 

2. It should be essen- 
tially moral — Moral in- 
struction, to be availing, 
must be the purified and 
elevated expression of a 
moral life, actually per- 
vading the scene of edu- 

3. It must be directed 
by an influence essenti- 
ally parental. 

4. It should be essen- 
tially organic — the de- 
velopment of the human 
faculties (moral, intel- 
lectual and physical) 
from within, by a pro- 
cess of expansion and 
growth ; through self- 
activity and liberty. 

I 5. The development of 
all the faculties should be 
harmonious : to preserve 
the equipoise within the 
mental, moral and physi- 
cal spheres, and between 
the three. 

6. It should be based 
^on intuitions. 

7. It should be gradual 
and progressive — every 
age has its own mental, 
moral and physical 

8. It should be free and 
natural, not cramped, 
confined and servile. 

g. It should be analyti- 
cal — everything taught 
. should be reduced to its 
^simplest elements. 




I. The foundation of in- 
struction is intuition [An- 
sckauung-, i.e., the effect of 
outward objects on the 
senses, and the effect on 
the consciousness of the 
impressions made on the 
senses by outward objects]. 

2. Language must be con- 
nected with intuition. 

3. The time for learning 
is not the time for judging 
and criticising. 

4. In each branch, in-"" 
struction must begin with 
the simplest elements, and 
proceed step by step ac- 
cording to the development 
of the child, i.e., by a 
sequence of steps which are 
psychologically connected. 

5. Instruction must fol- 
low the path of develop- 
ment not that of lecturing 
or telling. 

6. Instruction must be 
subordinated to the end of 
education. J 


1. The principles of education are not to be devised 
ad extra ; they are to be sought for in human nature. 

2. This nature is an organic nature — a plexus of 
bodily, intellectual and moral capabilities, ready for 
development, and struggling to develop themselves. 

3. Self-development begins with the impressions 
received by the mind from external objects. These 
impressions (called sensations), when the mind be- 
comes conscious of them, group themselves into 
I perceptions. These are registered in the mind as 
\ conceptions or ideas, and constitute that elementary 
I knowledge which is the basis of all knowledge, 
j 4. All education (including instruction) must be 
I grounded on the learner's own observation [An- 
I schauung) at first hand — on his own personal ex- 
Lperience. This is the true basis of all knowledge. 

4 [cont.). First the reality, then the symbol ; 
first the thing, then the word, not vice versa. 

5. That which the learner has gained by his own 
observation and which, as a part of his personal 
■< experience is incorporated with his mind, he knows 
and can describe or explain in his own words. His 
competency to do this is the measure of the ac- 
curacy of his observation, and consequently of his 

6. The education conducted by the formal educator 
has both a negative and a positive side. The former 
consists in removing impediments, so as to afford 
scope for the learner's self-development. The latter 
is to stimulate the learner to the exercise of his 
powers, to furnish materials and occasion for the 
exercise, and to superintend and maintain the action 
of the machinery. 

7. Personal experience necessitates the advance- 
ment of the learner's mind from the near and actual, 
with which he is in contact, and which he can deal 
with himself, to the more remote ; therefore from the 
concrete to the abstract, from particulars to generals, 
from the known to the unknown. This is the method 
of elementary education ; the opposite proceeding — 
the usual proceeding of our traditional teaching . . . 
is the scientific method — a method suited only to the 
advanced learner, who, it assumes, is already trained 
by the elementary method. 





7. The instructor must 
dwell upon each step long 
enough to ensure that the 
child gets a thorough grasp 
of, and control over, the new 

8. The chief aim of ele- 
mentary instruction is to 
develop and increase the 
powers of the child's mind, 
not the acquisition of know- 
ledge or skill. 

9. With knowledge must 
come power, with informa- 
tion skill, 

10. The relations between 
educator and pupil, and 
school discipline in par- 
ticular, must be based on 
and controlled by love. 

11. The individuality of 
the pupil must be sacred to 
the educator. 


8. Practical aptness or faculty, depends more on 
habits gained by the assiduous oft-repeated exercise 
of the learner's active powers than on knowledge 
alone. Knowing and doing must, however, proceed 
together. The chief aim of all education (including 
instruction) is the development of the learner's powers. 

9. Spontaneity and self-activity are the necessary 
conditions under which the mind educates itself and 
gains power and independence. 



In describing the methods which Pestalozzi used in 
teaching the above subjects, we shall take the subjects 
in the order of importance and value which he appeared 
to attach to them. "The impression made on the 
senses by form and number precedes the art of speech, 
but the art of sense-impression and arithmetic come 
after the art of speech." Although he says that " what- 
ever ideas we may have to acquire in the course of our 
life are all introduced through the medium of one of 
these departments," i.e.^ number, form and language ; 
this does not mean, as it at first seems to suggest, that 
reading, writing and arithmetic are to be regarded as 
the foundations of education. 

Notwithstanding the fact that he says that " Upon 
these three fundamental points [number, form and 
language] all elementary instruction is to be built : and 
it is evident, therefore, that the object of our first exer- 
tions in education must be to develop and strengthen, 
in that manner which is most conformable to nature, 
the faculties of number, of form, and of language, since 
upon the healthy state, as it were, of those faculties, 
the correctness of our perceptions essentially depends " ; 
his experience convinced him that reading, writing and 



arithmetic, far from being the foundation elements of 
instruction, ought to be regarded as subordinate ones. 
" It is well done to make a child read, and write, and 
learn, and repeat — but it is still better to make a child 
think" {On Infants' Education), 

This apparent contradiction is easily explained : the 
elements of knowledge in number, form and language 
must first be learned, before they can be used in getting 
further knowledge. How are these to be learned ? As 
we shall see, when dealing with them, they are to be 
learned through acquiring and developing intuitions, i.e., 
by means of what we now call object lessons. The 
"Three R's " are taught through object lessons: there- 
fore the latter is primary, and the former secondary. 
As Pestalozzi puts it : *' There are two ways of in- 
structing : either we go from words to things, or from 
things to words. Mine is the second method." 

I. Language "Teaching — or the Teaching of Sound 
through Object Lessons. 

Pestalozzi says : " In teaching the child language we 
ought to follow the same course which nature took. 
Nature undoubtedly began with intuition. The first 
simple sound by which man attempted to communicate 
the impression produced upon him by some object, was 
the expression of an intuition. . . . From this point 
language gradually advanced : man began to observe 
the characteristic features of those objects to which he 
had given names, and to form words to designate their 
proportions, their actions, and their powers. It was 
not until a much later period that he invented the art 
of modifying one and the same word according to 
number, time, and so on." Again: "The savage first 


names the object, then draws it, and then connects it 
very simply — after first learning its qualities, varying 
according to time and circumstance — with words, 
through terminations and combinations, so as to be 
able to define it more closel}^ " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

Before children are ready to learn to read, they must 
have learnt to talk ; and to do this they must be taught 
to feel and to think. There must be a considerable 
development in general knowledge, through percep- 
tions ; and in knowledge of language, through speak- 
ing ; before we begin to teach reading or letters. The 
study of language is analysable into : (i) the study of 
sounds, i.e., phonetics by which the several organs of 
speech are developed ; (2) the study of words, i.e., the 
means of teaching a knowledge of individual objects ; 
and (3) the study of speech, i.e., the means of teaching 
composition, or the correct method of expressing all that 
is known about objects and their qualities. Language 
thus taught has its highest value in helping the learner 
to clearness of conception. The ignorance of the lower 
classes is mainly owing to the fact that they have not 
thus been taught how to speak. 

The development of the faculty of language is in- 
separably associated with the development of the faculty 
of intuition. It is only as a child gets fuller and more 
exact intuitions that he can get a greater and more pre- 
cise use of language. The way to extend a child's 
command of language is to increase and quicken his 
power of intuition. The mere sounds of language are 
empty and barren ; it is only when they are consciously 
connected with the contents of intuitions that they 
become true human speech. Here also it is life that 
educates ; and the training in language, that is in 


intuition, must be directly connected with the home-life 
and ordinary activities of the learner. 

Teaching in the rules of grammar should come at the 
end of the study of language, not at the beginning. 
Our first business is to learn how to talk, and how to 
understand talk, in the above-mentioned sense. The 
rules of grammar will enable us to test our attainments 
in these two points. 

Language is a connecting link between intuition and 
thought proper: "Intuition and thought are separated 
by a great gulf which can be bridged over only by 
speech " {Swan's Song). All advanced and complex 
thought is dependent on language, just as higher work 
in number is dependent on algebraic symbols. The 
three faculties of perception, language and thought 
constitute the sum. of the means of intellectual educa- 
tion. Pestalozzi's own words are : " The mind is de- 
prived of its first instrument or organ, as it were, its 
functions are interrupted, and its ideas confused, when 
there is a want of perfect acquaintance and mastery of 
at least one language. . . . The child cannot become 
distinctly conscious of its intuitions and impressions of 
Nature without language " (On Infants' Education). 

The direct connection of intuition with the study of 
language is seen in the fact that the naming of objects 
gives us nouns ; the words which express the qualities 
of objects are adjectives ; the words which express the 
movements, etc., of things are verbs ; and so on for the 
other parts of speech. We acquire, through language, 
the ability to define the qualities of things ; and to make 
changes in these — caused by change of conditions — 
clear to ourselves, by changing the words themselves 
and their arrangement. A proper system of teaching 


language will, without using any of the technical terms 
of grammar, yet give all the facts of grammar through 
developing intuitions of objects. 

Pestalozzi's method was to take from the dictionary 
the names of certain common things, and also those 
words which described the most striking quaHties pos- 
sessed by the things — nouns and adjectives — as a basis 
for a lesson. His theory was that, in this way both in- 
tuitions and language can be extended and strengthened 
at the same time ; e.g., observation and expression (both 
involved) will give : the eel is slippery, worm-shaped, 
leather-skinned ; the evening is peaceful, cheerful, cool, 
rainy ; the field is sandy, clayey, sowed, manured, fertile, 
sterile. Or we can proceed from the adjectives as a 
basis for calling up in the mind such things as give the 
impressions associated with these words, thus: round 
(given) — bullet, hat, moon, sun (recollected) ; light — 
feather, down, air; high — towers, mountains, giants, 

For such exercises in language Pestalozzi used both 
objects and pictures. He says that these '' pictures are 
selected with a view to present to the child's mind all 
the chief varieties of objects and their properties, so far 
as they fall within the reach of our five senses. As to 
those properties which become known to us only by the 
intervention of judgment and imagination, I exclude 
them from my plan of instruction at this period. I am 
aware that many words denoting such properties will 
necessarily be caught up by children from the conversa- 
tion of others, which may have the advantage of setting 
their imagination to work and awakening their curiosity. 
For the express purpose of our instruction, however, we 
should confine ourselves to such objects as are im- 


mediately perceptible by our senses, with a view to 
bring the child as early as possible to a clear and pre- 
cise expression, in language, of whatever may be the 
result of his observations. . . . 

"A few instances in each case are sufficient, and 
the teacher may immediately proceed to the question : 
* What else do you know that is round, or light ? ' etc. 
The children generally find new examples within the 
sphere of their own experience, and very frequently 
such as the teacher would never have thought of; and 
being repeatedly called upon to give an account of their 
knowledge, they acquire a facility and a distinctness of 
expression which no Socratic conversations, unless con- 
ducted with a hundred-fold degree of skill and labour, 
can ever produce " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

To get enlargement of ideas and enlargement of 
sentences, at the same time, Pestalozzi would elicit 
from the children definitions and descriptions of objects 
and actions ; e.g., " A hell is a hollow round vessel of cast 
metal, open at the bottom, mostly with the brim bent 
outwards; towards the top it grows more and more 
narrow, approaching the oval shape ; it is generally 
suspended free in the air, with an iron tongue hanging 
down perpendicularly from the centre of the top, which, 
when the bell is swung from one side to the other, 
strikes against the brim of the vessel, and thus pro- 
duces the sound which is called the ringing of the bell ; 
To walk is to move on, step by step ; To stand is to rest 
the body on the legs, in a perpendicular position ; To 
lie is to rest the body on the ground, on the bed, etc., in 
a horizontal, or nearly horizontal position," etc. Sen- 
tences were also formally extended, on the basis of 
real knowledge and through a particular word; e.g., " I 


shall ; I shall retain ; I shall not retain my health other- 
wise ; I shall not retain my health after all I have 
suffered during my illness otherwise ; I shall not retain 
my health, after all I have suffered during my illness, 
otherwise than by practising the greatest temperance ". 
Such exercises, he held, should be instructive in them- 
selves : suitable to the circumstances of the pupils : and 
likely to arouse good feelings in the learner. They 
should be so ordered and arranged that they help to 
satisfy the child's natural longing for, and need of, 
knowledge, in the best and most complete way. 

It must be remembered, Pestalozzi points out, that 
the above is a system for assisting Nature in her own 
work and way. In actual order of life the child learns 
through complete phrases, which at first only give him 
a glimmer of meaning, but this becomes more and more 
clear as time goes on. Words in a sentence help to 
explain each other, when the general meaning of the 
whole is, more or less, grasped. It is for this reason 
that sentences are far more easily remembered than 
detached words, which, of themselves, have no neces- 
sary connection with others. We learn things as 
wholes, in the first instance, and then analyse them 
into parts so as to get greater clearness and fulness — 
clear perceptions and distinct ideas. 

Spelling and Reading. Sooner or later we must 
begin to deal with the forms by which language is 
symbolised, and must therefore fix upon a method. 
Pestalozzi gives this account of the way in which he 
arrived at his methods: "When I had begun to teach 
reading, I found out, after a while, that my pupils 
wanted first to be taught speaking; and when I set 
about trying how I could accomplish this, I came at 


last to the principle of following the progress of nature 
in the composition of single sounds into words, and 
words into speech. . . . When I attempted to teach 
spelling I felt the want of an appropriate book for the 
earliest childhood ; and I conceived the plan of one by 
the aid of which I have no doubt that children, of three 
or four years of age, might be brought to a degree of real 
information far superior to that which is commonly 
acquired at school about the age of seven or eight 
years. . . . 

" It is not to be left to chance at what time, and to 
what extent, the child shall become acquainted with 
each sound. An early and complete knowledge of them 
all is of great importance. This knowledge he should 
have before he is able to pronounce them ; and in like 
manner he should be able to pronounce them, generally 
with ease, before he be introduced to the knowledge of 
written or printed characters, and taught to read. 

" The spelling-book ought, therefore, to contain all 
the sounds of the language, and these ought to be taught 
in every family from the earliest infancy. The child 
who learns his spelling-book ought to repeat them to the 
infant in the cradle, before it is able to pronounce even 
one of them, so that they may be deeply impressed 
upon its mind by frequent repetition. It is incredible 
to those who have not seen it, how much the attention 
of babes is excited by the repetition of a few simple 
sounds, and their combinations, such as : ba, ba, ba ; 
da, da, da; ma, ma, ma; la, la, la, and so on. But the 
charm which it has for them is not the only advantage, 
for it contributes to the development of their faculties, 
and prepares them for future greater exertions. . . ." 

Again : " Mothers are invited to repeat those succes- 


sions of sounds to their children several times a day, 
even before they are able to speak, and to vary the 
order in w^hich they repeat them, so as to stimulate the 
attention, and, by the contrast of the different sounds 
with each other, to produce a distinct knowledge of the 
peculiar character of each. This repetition is to be 
renewed with double zeal when the children begin to 
speak, that by imitating those sounds they may the 
more readily develop their organs " (Hoio^ Gertrude 

But all this must be based upon and preceded by 
exercises in intuition. If this be forgotten the method 
cannot be understood, and will appear to be the most 
mechanical of mechanical systems. In this, as in all 
else, Pestalozzi would have us go from experiences to 
ideas, and from ideas to words, even when learning 
spelling. To this end he says that "a firm conviction 
gradually developed in me : (i) of the necessity of 
picture books (intuitive books) for early childhood ; (2) 
of the necessity of a fixed and precise exposition of these 
books ; (3) of the necessity of a guide to the names and 
word-knowledge based upon these books and their ex- 
positions, with which the children should be made 
familiar, long before the time for beginning to spell " 
{How Gertrude Teaches). Talking must come before 
spelling, and the child is to have nothing to do with 
words, in the first instance, except in connection with 
things. This is very clearly shown in the following 

** You see what objects God presents to your child as 
soon as he opens his eyes ; you see the effect of his 
involuntary and, so to say, inevitable intuitions ; you 
see what pleases and amuses him, Let all your conduct 


be guided by what you thus see ; take your child near 
the object which catches his notice and attracts him 
most strongly; show him his favourite objects again 
and again ; search everywhere within reach — ^in the 
garden, the house, the fields — for those things which, 
by their colour, shape, movement, or brilliance, are 
most like to those things he likes best. Surround his 
table with them and place them on the table vv^here he 
takes his meals. Give him plenty of time in which 
to examine their qualities, at his ease; and let him 
observe that by putting fresh flowers into the vase where 
others have faded, by calling back the dog, or by pick- 
ing up the fallen toy, you are often able to replace what 
often disappears." 

Again : " I wish always to let sense-impressions come 
before the word, and definite knowledge before judg- 
ment. I desire to make the effect of words and talk on 
the mind of little account, and to secure that dominat- 
ing influence proper to the actual impressions of phy- 
sical objects, which forms such a notable protection 
against mere babble and empty talk. I wish to lead my 
child, from his earliest development, into the whole circle 
of nature which surrounds him ; I would organise his 
learning to talk by a collection of nature's products. . . . 

''The next step to betaken is to make the child 
pronounce those sounds, as distinct exercises, to be 
gone through several times a day, but with the same 
ease and playfulness with which children are generally 
made to imitate sounds ; the only difference being that 
the mother follows the regular course traced for her in 
the spelling-book, instead of taking the sounds at ran- 
dom as they occur " (How Gertrude Teaches). 

Pestalozzi's spelling-book was built up on the plan of 


combining (i) all the vowels with all the consonants, in 
a progressive order, thus : ab, ad, af, ag, etc. ; then the 
reverse order, ba, da, fa, ga, etc. ; so with eb, ed, etc. 
(2) Next more difficult syllables are formed by putting 
a consonant both before and after a vowel, thus : a, ap, 
pap, lap, etc. " Each syllable spelt in this manner is 
to be pronounced by the teacher and repeated by the 
children, until it is indelibly impressed upon their 
minds. After this the teacher asks for each letter 
separately, and independently of the order in which they 
stand (the first ? the third ? etc.), and, lastly, he covers 
one syllable after the other with his hand, and makes 
the children spell it from recollection." (3) When the 
previous exercises are thoroughly mastered, the words 
may be learnt, thus : f, fe, fen, fende, fender ; after- 
wards in the reverse order : r, er, der, nder, ender, fen- 
der. (4) "Another exercise is to divide the word into 
syllables, which the children are to count, to spell, and 
to pronounce, first in the order in which they stand, and 
then promiscuously as the teacher points them out. . . . 
" The exercises before mentioned being gone through 
on the spelling-tablet, or otherwise, with the paste- 
board letters, the book itself is to be put into the child's 
hands as his first reading-book, and he is to continue in 
it till he has attained perfect facility in reading all the 
exercises." The pasteboard letters here referred to are 
those used in teaching the letters. " In order to facili- 
tate the knowledge of the written characters, which 
ought to precede the exercise of spelling, I have ap- 
pended to the spelling-book an alphabet, in which 
the letters are of considerable size, so as to present 
their differences to the eye in a more striking manner. 
These letters are to be pasted, each separately, on stiif 


paper, and given to the child one after another. The 
vowels are in red ink, to distinguish them from the 
consonants, and the latter are not to be taken in hand 
until the child be perfectly familiar with the former" 
(How Gertrude Teaches). 

This brings the pupil to fitness for learning the 
formation of sentences, i.e., " the determination of the 
objects, their properties and different states, according 
to time and other relations in which they are placed ". 
And this gives us " the outline of a practical grammar, 
by the progressive exercises of which the child is 
brought to the ultimate object of instruction, viz., per- 
fect clearness of ideas. The first step of this instruction 
is to teach the child to speak correctly." The mother 
is to give a model sentence and the child is to repeat it 
after her until it is perfectly known. Sentences such 
as : " Papa is kind ; the cow is tame ; the fir is tall," 
etc., are to be given, and when the child, says them 
easily and correctly, the mother should then ask : " Who 
else is kind ? " etc. '' What else is papa ? " etc. Fol- 
lowing this would be such exercises as : '' Who or 
what, are what ? — Roots are tough ; who or what, has 
what ? — The dog has a fine scent ; Who or what, have 
what ? — Plants have roots ; Who wishes what ? — The 
hungry wishes to eat ; Who wish what ? — Children wish 
to play ; Who can what ? (singular) — The bird can fly ; 
Who can what ? (plural) — Tailors can stitch," and so 

" In this manner I continue these exercises, both in 
the singular and the plural, through the whole round of 
declensions and conjugations ; and, with special refer- 
ence to the verb, I continue as follows. First I form 
the simple connection between the verb and the object ; 


e.g., attend to the teacher's words; breathe through your 
lungs ; hind a sheaf, a stocking, etc. The next exercise 
adds a subject to the verb ; e.g., attend : I attend to the 
teacher's words, to my duty, to my welfare ; a person 
who attends to things is attentive ; a person who does 
not attend to anything, or only to a few things, is inatten- 
tive ; I ought to attend to myself more than to anything 
else " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

Such exercises have two ends in view, viz., (i) to cul- 
tivate the organs of speech (vocalisation, pronunciation), 
and the art of speaking (oral composition); and (2) 
teaching the formation of sentences (in the above- 
mentioned sense). These two ends must always be 
kept perfectly distinct and separate, and each must 
be perfected by, and in, itself, even though the same 
sentences may be used for both. As is said in the 
Swan's Song : "To teach a child to talk we must first 
cause him to see, hear and touch many things, and 
especially those which please him, and to which, there- 
fore, he will readily attend. We must also get him 
to observe them in an orderly way, observing each 
thoroughly before he goes on to another. At the same 
time he must be continuously learning how to express 
his impressions in words." Again : " I connected the 
art of teaching children to talk with the intuitive-ideas 
given to them by nature and by art " (How Gertrude 

Pestalozzi's own way of doing this is described in his 
account of how he taught the little boy — "then hardly 
three years of age " — at Burgdorf. " I led him to form, 
concerning every object, distinct notions, and to express 
these notions clearly in language. Very soon I was 
obliged to lay aside the alphabet, that first torment of 



youth. He felt no interest in those dead signs : he 
would have nothing but things, or pictures of things : 
and in a short time he was enabled to express himself 
distinctly respecting any objects within the sphere of 
his knowledge. He gathered general information from 
the street, the garden, and the house ; and, upon the 
basis of clear and self-acquired notions, he soon learned 
to pronounce correctly even the most difficult names of 
plants and animals. Nay, by comparing objects entirely 
unknown to him, with such as he was acquainted with, 
he was able to form of them a definite idea " {How 
Gertrude Teaches). 

In connection with this experiment he arrived at the 
profound principle that ''nature brings the children, 
even at this age, to a very definite consciousness of 
numberless objects. It only needs that we should, with 
psychological art, unite speech with this knowledge, 
in order to bring it to a high degree of clearness ; and 
thereby enable us to connect both the foundations of 
many-sided arts and many-sided truths to that which 
nature herself teaches ; and likewise to make use of 
what nature teaches as a means for the explanation of 
all the fundamentals of art and truth that one can bring 
forward " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

Also in connection with the teaching of spelling and 
number, at Burgdorf during the same period, he began 
to work out the great corner-stone idea for his whole 
system, "The A B C of Anschauung". He says: "I 
sought in every way to bring the beginnings of spelling 
and reckoning to the greatest simplicity and method ; 
so that, by the greatest psychological art, the child 
might pass from the first step gradually to the second ; 
and then without break, upon the foundation of the 


fully grasped second, quickly and safely he will be 
carried on through the third and fourth. . . . With this 
work the idea of the possibility of an * A B C of An- 
schauung ' gradually unfolded itself" {How Gertrude 

It is of the highest significance that what is ordinarily 
regarded as the most mechanical and arbitrary of all 
school subjects, i.e., spelling, should be one of the two 
subjects which gave to Pestalozzi the suggestion of the 
unifying and fundamental principle of his whole scheme 
of education. To realise the full significance of this 
fact is to grasp the essence of his theories : to miss it 
is to misunderstand and mistake his whole work. There 
is nothing in education, he would have us understand, 
which cannot, and does not, begin in a real experience 
on the part of the child — something which must, and 
does, happen in the course of nature — and which, there- 
fore, must be, as it alone can be, the starting-point of 
true education. 

Much scornful criticism has been passed upon the 
mechanical nature of the exercises in spelling, etc., in 
the Mother's Book : much of it fully deserved in so far 
as Pestalozzi has carried his method to mechanical 
extremes : but most of it mistaken in that it ignores 
Pestalozzi's underlying assumption that it is all based 
upon actual intuitions. As he himself so well says : " I 
cannot prevent the forms of my method from having 
the same fate as all other forms, which inevitably perish 
in the hands of men who are neither desirous nor cap- 
able of grasping their spirit ". 

Such is the work of a mother; and Pestalozzi's 
Mother's Manual and Guide for Teaching Spelling and 
Reading are but skeleton outlines to which the mother 

14 * 


and the teacher mustiimpart flesh, blood and Hfe, so to 
speak. Every mother, he says, is " able to give her 
child the possession of a variety of names, simply by 
bringing the objects themselves before the child, pro- 
nouncing the names, and making the child repeat them. 
She must feel herself able to bring such objects before 
the child in a sort of natural order, the different parts, 
for instance, of a fruit. Let no one despise these things 
because they are little. . . . After she has exhausted 
the stock of objects which presented themselves first, 
after the child has acquired the names of them, and is 
able to distinguish their parts, it may probably occur 
to her that something more might still be said on every 
one of these objects. 

" She will find herself able to describe them to the 
child with regard to form, size, colour, softness or hard- 
ness of the outside, sound when touched, and so on. 
She has now gained a material point ; from the mere 
knowledge of the names of objects, she has led the 
infant to a knowledge of their qualities and properties. 
Nothing can be more natural for her than to go on and 
compare different objects with regard to these qualities, 
and the greater or smaller degree in which they belong 
to the object. If the former exercises were adapted to 
cultivate the memory, these are calculated to form the 
observation and judgment. 

"She may still go much further: she is able to tell 
her child the reasons of things, and the causes of facts. 
She is able to inform him of the origin, and the duration, 
and the consequences of a variety of objects. The oc- 
currences of every day, and of every hour, will furnish 
her with materials for this sort of instruction. Its use 
is evident : it teaches the child to inquire after the 


causes, and accustoms it to think of the consequences 
of things " {On Infants' Education). 

The above will enable us to understand how Pestalozzi 
arrives at his development of language teaching into 
instruction in (i) sounds, (2) words, and (3) speech, as 
mentioned above ; and how he goes on to subdivide the 
third branch into (a) the designation of the form and 
number of every object ; (b) the designation of all the 
other properties of objects, whether they be discovered 
by our senses, or by our imagination and judgment ; and 
(c) the determination of the objects, their properties and 
different states according to time and other relations in 
which they are placed, with a view to still further illus- 
trate all that the child has before learned concerning 
the nature, powers of action, and so on, of each object. 
This leads to the outline of a practical grammar. 

Under the second of these subdivisions he includes a 
very wide range of knowledge. He writes ; " I now 
distinguish the treasures of language which are, as it 
were, the testimony of past ages concerning the uni- 
verse, under the following heads : (i) geography, (2) 
history, (3) physical science, and (4) natural history. 
But in order to avoid useless repetitions and to make 
the course as short as possible, I subdivide these four 
heads at once into about forty sections, and present to 
the child the names of different objects only in these 
subdivisions. I then take up the particular object of 
our observation, man himself, and arrange the whole 
of what language contains concerning him under the 
following heads : (a) man as a merely physical or 
animal being ; (b) man as a social, and still animal, 
being ; and (c) man as a moral and intellectual being, 
raised above the level of animal existence. These three 


heads I again subdivide into about forty sections, com- 
prehending all that is to be said about man" (How 
Gertrude Teaches). But these elaborate subdivisions 
were afterwards abandoned '' as the results of immature 
opinions ". 

In order to bring about a general system of education 
on these Hnes Pestalozzi was convinced ''that intuitive 
books for elementary instruction are indispensable ". 
Again, he writes : " I saw, moreover, that in the com- 
position of such books it must be of the highest impor- 
tance to keep the different parts of instruction distinct 
from one another, and to introduce them in a manner 
adapted to the natural progress of the child's mind ; for 
it is only by determining with the greatest accuracy 
what is calculated for every age and every stage of 
development, that we shall avoid either withholding 
anything of which the child is capable, or burdening 
and confounding him with things which he cannot yet 
grasp. ... I was deeply impressed with the want of 
' intuitive elementary books,' by the aid of which, long 
before the spelling-book comes on, children might be 
made acquainted with those objects of which they are to 
learn the names, either by their being exhibited to them 
in reality, or represented in good models and drawing." 

Pestalozzi rightly laid the greatest possible emphasis 
upon the importance of the beginnings of education. 
In the light of his experiences at Stanz, he says : 
" Never before had I so deeply felt the important bear- 
ing which the first elements of every branch of know- 
ledge have upon its complete outline ; and what 
immense deficiencies in the final result of education 
must arise from the confusion and imperfection of the 
simplest beginnings " (How Gertrude Teaches), 


II. The Teaching of Form. 

Language teaching, in all its forms, Pestalozzi calls 
the first means of elementary instruction ; the teaching 
of form, i.e., measuring, drawing and writing, he calls 
the second means of instruction. The order in which 
he places the three is what he would call the natural 
order. He says : "In endeavouring to teach writing I 
found that I must begin by teaching my children draw- 
ing ; and, when I took this in hand, I saw that without 
the art of measuring there is no drawing ". He con- 
sidered that measuring enables a person to apprehend, 
exactly and clearly, the outlines of objects; whilst 
drawing gives the power correctly to represent the out- 
line of objects. 

He finds that the attempt to draw is one of the earliest 
activities of the child. Just as the faculty for imitation 
leads the child to language and music through the ear, 
so it is led to drawing through the eye and hand. 
" Children who show some curiosity in the objects 
brought before their eyes, very soon begin to employ 
their ingenuity and skill in copying what they have 
seen. ... As soon as they are able to make the at- 
tempt, there is nothing so well calculated for this object 
as some elementary practice in drawing. . . . 

"The general advantages resulting from an early 
practice of drawing are evident to every one. . . . Even 
in common life, a person who is in the habit of drawing, 
especially from nature, will easily perceive many details 
which are commonly overlooked, and form a much more 
correct impression, even of such objects as he does not 
stop to examine minutely, than one who has never been 
taught to look upon what he sees with an intention to 


reproduce a likeness of it. The attention to the exact 
shape of the whole, and the proportion of the parts, 
which is necessary for the taking of an adequate sketch, 
becomes a habit, and, in many cases, gives much in- 
struction and amusement " {On Infants Education). 

The following passages give an outline of his ideas 
on, and method in, measuring and drawing. *' It is 
obvious, but altogether overlooked in general, that 
practical facility in measuring things ought to precede 
every attempt at drawing ; or, at least, that we can draw 
successfully only so far as we are capable of measuring. 
The common mode of proceeding, on the contrary, is to 
begin with an incorrect view and a crooked representa- 
tion of the object ; to expunge and draw again, and to 
repeat this tedious process until by degrees an instinc- 
tive sort of feeling of the proportions is awakened. Then, 
at length, we proceed to what we ought to begin with, 
viz., measuring." 

He says that this blind blundering into accuracy is 
due to the fact that artists have thus groped in the dark 
till they have acquired, *' by immense exertion and great 
perseverance," the trick of it. They are unable to ex- 
plain their method to their pupils, and so " art has re- 
mained exclusively in the hands of a few privileged 
individuals, who had talent and leisure sufficient to 
pursue that circuitous road. And yet the art of drawing 
ought to be a universal acquirement, for the simple 
reason that the faculty is universally inherent in the 
constitution of the human mind. . . . For let it be 
remembered that a taste for measuring and drawing is 
continuously manifesting itself in the child, without 
any assistance of art, by a spontaneous impulse of 
nature. . . . 


" In proposing, however, the art of drawing as a 
general branch of education, it is not to be forgotten 
that I consider it as a means of leading the child from 
vague perceptions to clear ideas. To answer this pur- 
pose it must not be separated from the art of measuring. 
If the child be made to imitate objects, or images of 
objects, before he has acquired a distinct view of their 
proportions, his instruction in the art of drawing will fail 
to produce upon his mental development that beneficial 
influence which alone renders it worth learning." 

It is significant to find that Pestalozzi is in agreement 
with Ruskin as to the connection between drawing and 
measuring. Criticising the teaching of drawing in 
schools, Ruskin says : " The first error in that system 
is the forbidding accuracy of measurement, and enforc- 
ing the practice of guessing the size of objects. . . . 
The student finishes his inaccurate drawing to the end, 
and his mind is thus, during the whole process of his 
work, accustomed to falseness of every contour. Such 
a practice is not to be characterised as merely harmful, 
it is ruinous " (Laws of F hole, preface). 

To get the progress from vague perceptions to clear 
ideas Pestalozzi insists upon the use of sense-im- 
pressions. The child must draw from nature, since 
''the impression which the object itself gives, is so 
much more striking than its appearance in an imitation. 
It gives the child much more pleasure to be able to 
exercise his skill in attempting a likeness of what sur- 
rounds him, and of what he is interested in, than in 
labouring at a copy of what is but a copy itself, and has 
less of life or interest in its appearance " {On Infants' 

Unfortunately, however, Pestalozzi worked out a very 


detailed course of preparatory exercises. He said that 
it was unreasonable to expect that children should begin 
drawing an object before they had learned the simple 
elements of the laws of form, and the art of measuring. 
The child was to learn the different sorts of lines and 
angles, and the divisions of the square and circle. This 
was to be carried on in close connection with drawing, 
i.e.y so soon as the child is able to distinguish, and to 
draw, horizontal, perpendicular and slanting lines, he is 
to draw some object which is " bounded chiefly by these 
lines ". The purpose of such preparatory exercises is 
to teach the learner to judge accurately as to propor- 
tions of length, breadth and size of the parts of an 
object ; and to observe accurately the kinds of lines and 
angles which make up its form : " Children must be 
taught to read outlines like words, and to name the 
separate parts of curves and angles with letters, so that 
their combination can be as clearly expressed upon 
paper as any word by the joining of letters " {How 
Gertrude Teaches). 

All this was unfortunate in that the mechanism of 
the training became much too elaborate, and therefore 
hindered and obstructed the higher development. So 
far did it carry Pestalozzi and his assistants that an 
A Iphabet of Form was invented by Buss. This, said Pes- 
talozzi, " furnishes him [the pupil] with terms by means 
of which he may clearly describe . . . comparing not 
only the different dimensions of every object that oc- 
curs to him, with each other, but also the whole outline 
with the square, the circle, or their essential divisions 
and modifications". 

The figure given below shows the divisions of the 
circle and the square, which give the alphabet of 


forms. But the alphabet was never published, because 
fuller investigation and experiment led to modified 
views. Several courses of drawing were issued from 
Pestalozzi's institute, of which the best— Dr. Biber says 
— is that by Ramsauer. 

Writing, which has to follow drawing, is to be taught 
in two stages: "The first when the child is to learn 
the formation and combination of letters with the [slate] 
pencil merely ; and the second when he is to practise 
his hand in the use of the pen. In the first course of 
writing the letters are to be laid before the child ac- 
cording to the precise measure of their proportions ; 
and I have got a set of copies engraved, which, follow- 
ing the successive steps of my method, will almost of 
itself form a sufficient guide for the child in the practice 
of writing. It has the following advantages : — 

" (i) The child is kept a sufficient time at the draw- 
ing of the elementary or fundamental lines of which the 
different letters are composed. (2) These elementary 
lines are put together according to a gradual progress, 


in which the most difficult letters are placed at the 
end, and their formation is moreover facilitated by the 
previous practice of lessdifBcult combinations, to which 
even the most complicated characters contain only 
slight additions. (3) The exercise of combining differ- 
ent letters with each other is introduced from the very 
moment when the child is able to draw one correctly, 
and is calculated upon the progress in the formation of 
single letters, so as never to include any but those 
which have become individually easy and familiar. (4) 
The book admits of being cut up in single lines, so that 
the child may place the copy immediately over the line 
in which he intends writing. 

" In this manner the child learns to write with ease 
and perfection in the first course, and all that remains 
to be done in the second is to teach him the use of the 
pen. This is to be done by the same gradual process 
which was followed on the slate ; the letters are to be 
drawn with the pen on the same enlarged scale which 
was adopted for the first attempt with the pencil, and 
to be diminished, gradually, to the usual size " {How 
Gertrude Teaches). 

Pestalozzi gives us the reasons why writing should be 
taught after measuring and drawing : (i) writing itself 
is a sort of linear drawing, and that of stated forms, 
from which no arbitrary or fanciful deviation is per- 
mitted ; (2) the practice of writing, when acquired 
previously to, and independently of, drawing, spoils the 
hand and mars its freedom, by confining it to a few 
peculiar forms on a contracted scale, instead of culti- 
vating in it a general ability for all forms ; (3) by the 
previous acquirement of drawing the formation of the 
letters is greatly facilitated, and all that time is saved 


which children generally spend in correcting bad habits, 
contracted by a long practice of bad writing, and sub- 
stituting a good hand for the mis-shaped and incorrect 
characters to which they have been for years ac- 
customed ; (4) the child should learn to do everything 
in perfection from its beginning, which he will not be 
able to do in writing unless this acquirement be built 
upon an elementary course of drawing. 

An aid used by Pestalozzi, in teaching writing, is 
described by M, Fischer : " He gives out thin leaves of 
transparent horn to each of his scholars. Upon these 
tablets are engraved strokes and letters, and these 
serve as models for the beginners, and the more easily 
so since the pupils can themselves lay them upon the 
figures they have drawn ; and, on account of their trans- 
parency, can compare their correspondence with each 

While he thus shows very clear method and very 
considerable ingenuity in teaching the mere mechanics 
of writing, Pestalozzi does not omit to show how writ- 
ing is related to other subjects through its subject 
matter. Considered as form, he says, it is connected 
with measuring and drawing ; but it is also a kind of 
learning to talk : a peculiar and special exercise of this 
art. Hence, so soon as the child has learnt to make 
the letters and their combinations, " he needs no more 
special copies for his improvement in writing. He has 
the substance for these copies in his head, through his 
skill in speech and orthography, and he builds up from 
his own practical knowledge, on the lines of the spelling 
and reading books, a collection of words through which 
he constantly improves his speech-skill, and exercises 
his memory and imagination " (How Gertrude Teaches). 


In other words, writing includes composition. We 
learn to write so that we may have another means of 
expressing our thoughts. Learning to make letters is 
not writing, but only getting possession of the means 
for writing. The art will '' enable the children ... to 
express themselves clearly about every possible thing, 
whose form and substance may be made known to 
them, whether by word of mouth or by writing ; and 
firmly impress the knowledge of it. . . . Writing is [to 
be] perfected not only as an art, but also as a profes- 
sion " [e.g., the work of a literary man]. 

It is worth while to notice how modern views on the 
teaching of writing are returning to the Pestalozzian 
standpoint : writing being taught through drawing, and 
in connection with composition. In one point Pesta- 
lozzi was much in advance of the present method of 
teaching penmanship, in that he taught the combination 
of the letters already learned into syllables and words, 
before mastering the writing of all the letters in the 

III. Number Teaching. 

In dealing with this subject Pestalozzi is at the very 
opposite pole to that which marks what is usually 
understood by the teaching of arithmetic. He did not 
set out to teach his pupils how to do sums, but how to 
understand numbers. On his plan the learner was 
able to do sums, easily and accurately, because he 
understood numbers ; on the other plan children learn 
to do sums but may never understand numbers. His 
pupils were able to discover the ordinary rules of arith- 
metic from their study of the principles of numbers ; 
pupils under the other system learnt the rules by rote 


and worked the sums unintelligently. As a matter of 
fact his pupils were the most acute and rapid of practi- 
cal arithmeticians, amazing every one by their speed 
and accuracy. He made no use whatever of figures 
until his scholars knew the numbers themselves per- 
fectly, up to ten ; and he taught no tables of weights 
and measures, nor what may be called business arith- 
methic, until the pupil had mastered the theory and art 
of numbers, and then only such tables and calculations 
as the scholar was likely to want in his future calling. 

Number knowledge must, like all other knowledge, 
start from, and develop through, sense-impressions. 
Here is Pestalozzi's own theory of number : "This 
science arises altogether out of the simple composition 
and separation of units. Its fundamental formula is 
this : ' one and one are two ' ; ' one from two leaves 
one '. Any number, whatever be its name, is nothing 
else but an abridgment of this elementary process of 
counting. Now itis a matter of great importance, that 
this ultimate bases of all number should not be ob- 
scured in the mind by arithmetical symbols. The 
science of numbers must be taught so that their primi- 
tive constitution is deeply impressed on the mind, and 
so as to give an intuitive knowledge of their real 
properties and proportions, on which, as the ground- 
work of all arithmetic, all further proficiency is to be 
founded. If that be neglected, this first means of ac- 
quiring clear notions will be degraded into a plaything 
of the child's memory and imagination, and its object, 
of course, entirely defeated. 

"It cannot be otherwise. If, for instance, we learn 
merely by rote 'three and four make seven,' and then 
we build upon this ' seven,' as if we actually knew that 


three and four make seven, we deceive ourselves ; we 
have not a real apprehension of seven, because we are 
not conscious of the physical fact, the actual sight of 
which can alone give truth and reality to the hollow 
sound. . . . 

"The first impressions of numerical proportions 
should be given to the child by exhibiting the variations 
of more and less, in real objects placed before his view 
... in which the ideas of one, two, three, etc., up to 
ten, are distinctly and intuitively presented to his eyes. 
I then call upon him to pick out in those tables the ob- 
jects which occur in the number one, then those which 
are double, triple, etc. After this I make him go over 
the same numbers again on his fingers, or with beans, 
pebbles, or any other objects which are at hand. . . . 

" In this manner children are made perfectly familiar 
with the elements of number : the intuitive knowledge 
of them remains present to their minds while learning 
the use of their symbols, the figures, in which they 
must not be exercised before that point be fully secured. 
The most important advantage gained by this proceed- 
ing is that arithmetic is made a foundation of clear 
ideas ; but, independently of this, it is almost incredible 
how great a facility in the art of calculating the child 
derives from intuitive knowledge. . . . 

" A square [tablet] is put up, and the teacher asks : 
* Are there many squares here ? ' Answer : ' No, there 
is but one '. The teacher adds one, and asks again : 
' One and one ; how many are they ? ' Answer : * One 
and one are two ' ; and so on, adding at first by ones, 
afterwards by twos, threes, etc. 

" After the child has in this manner come to a full 
understanding of the composition of units up to ten. 


and has learned to express himself with perfect ease, 
the squares are again [used] in the same manner, but 
the question is changed : ' If there are two squares, 
how many times have we one square ? ' The child 
looks, counts, and answers correctly : ' If there are two 
squares, we have two times one square '. 

"The child having thus distinctly and repeatedly 
counted over the parts of each number up to ten, and 
come to a clear view of the number of units contained 
in each, the question is changed again, the squares 
being still put up as before. ' Two : how many times 
one is it ? Three : how many times one ? ' etc. ; and 
again : ' How many times is one contained in two, 
three ? ' etc. After the child has in this manner been 
introduced to the simple elements of addition, multipli- 
cation and division, and become conversant with their 
nature by the repeated representation of the relations 
which they express, in visible objects, subtraction is to 
be exercised upon the same plan, as follows : the ten 
squares being put up together, the teacher takes away 
one of them, and asks : ' If I take one from ten, how 
many remains ? ' The child counts, finds nine, and 
answers : ' If you take one from ten, there remains 
nine '. The teacher then takes away a second square, 
and asks: * One less than nine: how many?' The 
child counts again, finds eight, and answers : ' One 
less than nine are eight ' ; and so on to the end. 

" This exemplification of arithmetic is to be continued 
in successive exercises, and in the manner before de- 
scribed. For example : — 

1 111111 etc. 

1 111 111 111 etc. 
1 1111 etc. 


'* As soon as the addition of one series is gone through, 
the subtraction is to be made at the same rate, thus : 
having counted together one and two make three, and 
two make five, and two make seven, and so on up to 
twenty-one squares, the subtraction is made by taking 
away two squares at a time, and asking : * Two from 
twenty-one : how many are there left ? ' and so on. 

"■ The child has thus learned to ascertain the increase 
and diminution of number, when represented in real and 
movable objects; the next step is to place the same 
successions before him in arithmetical tables, on which 
the numbers are represented by strokes or dots." 

Such a training in real number will, Pestalozzi as- 
serts, enable the child " to enter with the utmost facility 
upon the common abridged modes of calculating by 
figures. His mind is above confusion and trifling 
guesswork; his arithmetic is a rational process, not 
mere memory work, or mechanical routine ; it is the 
result of a distinct and intuitive apprehension of 
number, and the source of perfectly clear ideas in the 
further pursuit of that science." As he says in another 
place, his method " was to develop the internal power 
of the child rather than to produce those results which, 
nevertheless, were produced as the necessary conse- 
quences of my proceedings. . . . The effect of my 
method was to lay in the child a foundation of know- 
ledge and further progress, such as it would be im- 
possible to obtain by any other. . . . 

" The increase and diminution of things is not confined 
to the number of units ; it includes the division of units 
into parts. This forms a new species of arithmetic, in 
which we find every unit capable of division and sub- 
division into an indefinite number of parts. 


" In the course before described, a stroke representing 
the unit was made the intuitive basis of instruction ; 
and it is now necessary, for the new species of calcula- 
tion just mentioned, to find a figure which shall be 
divisible to an indefinite extent and yet preserve its 
character in all its parts, so that every one of them may 
be considered as an independent unit, analogous to the 
whole ; and that the child may have its fractional re- 
lation to the whole as clearly before his eyes as the 
relation of three to one, by three distinct strokes. 

"The only figure adapted to this purpose is the 
square. By means of it the diminution of each single 
part, and the proportionate increase of the number of 
parts by the continued division and subdivision of the 
unit may be made as intuitively evident as the ascend- 
ing scale of numbers by the addition or multiplication 
of units. A fraction table has been drawn up [to show 
this]. . . . 

" Now as the alphabet of forms is chiefly founded 
upon the division of the square into its parts, and the 
fractional tables serve to illustrate the same division in 
a variety of manners, the alphabet of forms, and that 
of fractions, prove in the end the same ; and the child 
is thus naturally led to connect in his mind the elements 
of form with those of number, both explaining and 
supporting each other. My method of arithmetic is 
therefore essentially founded upon the alphabet of forms, 
which was originally intended only for the purposes of 
measuring and drawing. 

*' By means of these fractional squares, the child 
acquires such an intuitive knowledge of the real pro- 
portions of the different fractions, that it is a very easy 
task, afterwards, to introduce him to the usq qf figures 




for fractional calculation. Experience has proved, that 
by my method they arrive at this part of arithmetic 
from three to four years earlier than by the usual mode 
of proceeding. And it may be said of this, as of the 
former course, that it sets the child above confusion and 
trifling guesswork ; his knov^ledge of fractions being 
founded upon intuitive and clear ideas, which give him 
both a desire for truth and the power of discovering and 
realising it in his mind." 

Throughout the teaching of number, Pestalozzi's aim 
is to develop distinct ideas through grouping (addition 
and multiplication), separating (subtraction and division), 
and comparing (ideas of more and less) the objects — as 
to their quantitative (number) elements — of perception. 
When the ideas of the learner have been perfected 
through number-teaching, then the learning of the or- 
dinary arithmetical rules is but the application of his 
trained ideas to the practical affairs of life ; and it will 
be found that he is able to understand the problems and 
discover the rules, in most cases, for himself. 

Pestalozzi had three arithmetical tables which he 
used in teaching number. We give sections of these 
to show what they were. 

I. Table of 
Simple Unity. 

II. Table of Simple 

III. Table of Com- 
pound Fractions. 












oamQii QUffla 




In the Table of Simple Unity there were ten of each 
number on a line ; so that on the last line there were 
ten tens. The other numbers were put thus: IIII, 

mil, mill, iiiiiii, iiiiiiii, iiiiiiiii,iiiiiiiiii. 

The Table of Simple Fractions had ten squares in each 
line, and ten lines ; the last line being ten squares 
divided into tenths. The Table of Compound Fractions 
also had ten lines and ten squares in each. In the 
first line the unit was divided in halves, thirds, etc., to 
tenths ; in the second line halves were divided into 
their halves, thirds, etc, to tenths ; and in the last line 
tenths were similarly divided. 

In teaching units Pestalozzi did not confine himself to 
the Table of Units, i.e., to visual sense-impressions. He 
says that, when the pupils were familiar with this, he 
"let them find the same relations on their fingers, or 
with peas, stones, or other handy objects " {How Ger- 
trude Teaches). After the four simple rules had been 
mastered the learner was taken to fractions ; and not 
until these were known was he allowed to apply his, 
now complete, number knowledge to practical arith- 
metic, i.e., sums concerning money, weights, measures, 

Very full and detailed exercises were given for all the 
numbers up to 100; and for all the small fractions. 
These exercises had to be thoroughly mastered and 
known, before what we now call concrete sums were 
worked. Although the pupils were dealing with some 
kinds of objects — diagrams, pictures and things — all 
the time, yet the formal and mechanical elements were 
largely present, and must have taken up much of the 
time and energy of the teachers and learners. 



Geography. In the Swan's Song Pestalozzi says that 
the accurate observation of the different conditions of 
water, at rest or in motion : its changing into dew, 
rain, vapour, steam, hoar-frost, hail, etc. : and its ac- 
tion on other objects of nature ; and the expressing of 
the results of such observations in clear and fitting 
language, give the beginnings of physical geography. 
The pupil must first be taught to observe the country 
around his own home ; not studying it through a map, 
but by actually walking about the land itself. He 
must learn to make a map — correcting any mistakes in 
his first attempts from fuller and more accurate know- 
ledge gained from later visits — before he is allowed to 
see, much less to make use of, a school map. The 
maps used in school teaching should be blank m.aps. 

One of the Yverdon pupils. Professor Vulliemin, thus 
describes the actual teaching in geography : " The first 
elements of geography were taught us from the land 
itself. We were taken to a narrow valley not far from 
Yverdon, where the river Buroa runs. After taking a 
general view of the valley, we were made to examine 
the details, until we had obtained an exact and com- 
plete idea of it. We were then told to take some clay, 



which lay in beds on one side of the valley, and fill the 
baskets which we had brought for the purpose. 

*' On our return to the castle, we took our places at 
the long table, and reproduced in relief the valley we 
had just studied, each one doing the part which had 
been allotted to him. In the course of the next few 
days more walks and more explorations, each day on 
higher ground, and each time with a further extension 
of our work. Only when our relief was finished were 
we shown the map, which by this means we did not 
see till we were in a condition to understand it." 

From the very beginnings geography is to be cor- 
related with the other sciences, such as natural history, 
agriculture, geology, etc. ; not only because these are 
directly connected with each other, but also because 
greater and continuous interest is thus aroused. 

Dr. Biber, after describing, in glowing terms, the 
pre-eminent advantages of the surroundings at Yverdon, 
for teaching geography to the pupils there, says: " He 
taught them to watch the gathering up of the morning 
mists, and the shadows of the early clouds, which 
passing over the glittering lake hid for a moment, as 
with a veil of gauze, its streams of undulating gold ; he 
directed their eyes to the flaming characters with which 
the sun writes the farewell of day on the traceless 
surface of eternal snow ; he stood listening with them 
to the majestic voice of nature, when the autumnal gale 
howling on the floods, rolled billow after billow to the 
bleak shore; he guided their steps to the mountain 
caves from whose deep recesses the stately rivers drew 
their inexhaustible supplies. 

" Wherever he found a leaf in the mysterious book 
of creation laid open, he gave it to them to read, and 


thus, within the narrow sphere of their horizon, taught 
them more of earth and earthborn beings, than they 
could have learned by travelling, in the pages of a heavy 
volume, all round the globe. This was indeed ' intui- 
tive ' teaching, and experience proved that, independ- 
ently of the moral effect which such an intercourse 
with nature can never fail to produce, the reality and 
vivacity of the ideas awakened in the children, concern- 
ing the relations of the great elements to each other, 
and to the beings whose existence they support, en- 
sured a permanent and lively attention to whatever 
ulterior instruction in the science of geography it was 
deemed expedient to impart. . . . 

"The simple features by which the hand of nature 
has distinguished the different countries, were presented 
to the mind long before the artificial mould into which 
man has cast them. Physical and mathematical geo- 
graphy, founded upon the ideas acquired by self-ob- 
servation, formed the ground-work of this branch of the 
method, and statistical facts were superadded at the 
end, arranged in concise tables so as to facilitate their 

History. Pestalozzi held that it was unwise to at- 
tempt to teach historical incidents, and their causes 
and effects, to young children. Not only are children 
unable and unfitted to judge of the doings and motives 
of men and nations, but their moral and intellectual 
progress is hindered and hampered by attempts to do 
this, and by so early an acquaintance with the wicked- 
ness and violence they have to learn about in the study 
of history. 

Dr. Biber says: "The historical lessons laboured 
under still greater imperfections. Pestalozzi, from a 


sort of prejudice which he had conceived against his- 
torical studies, gave but little encouragement to their 
cultivation in the establishment, and accordingly their 
treatment by the different teachers was, more than that 
of any other branch of instruction, subject to endless 
changes. One man read abstruse lectures ; another drew 
up a set of synchronistical tables ; to some it seemed pre- 
ferable to connect all history with biographical sketches, 
while others indulged in lengthy discussions on the 
different forms of government, and the best polity ; 
some hurried over the whole of the records of human- 
kind in a few months ; while others found their whole 
set of pupils changed between their ante- and post- 
diluvian lessons." 

Science. It would not be too much to say that the 
whole Pestalozzian system is based upon, and developed 
through, science and the scientific method. There 
remains, therefore, only the special work in science, as 
such, to be considered. Here again Pestalozzi starts 
with ultimate beginnings, so far as these are known and 
useful for educational purposes. When, he says, a 
child has learned to observe accurately and to express 
correctly — in an elementary manner — what happens 
when salt and sugar are dissolved in water : the change 
from liquid to solid states : their crystallisation : the 
fermentation of wine in the cellar : its turning sour and 
becoming vinegar : the transformation of alabaster into 
plaster, marble into lime, sand into glass, etc., he has 
developed in himself the elementary scientific percepts, 
and is likely to have a tendency towards further scientific 

Science teaching, he says, is chiefly (if not only) valu- 
able — in the early stages of education — for developing 


in the individual their powers of intuition and thought, 
so that they may be enabled to judge wisely and act 
independently in the affairs of life. It is through in- 
tuitions (involving observations and perceptions) that 
nature, and life, educate men from their first moment 
to their last ; and, therefore, the educator must educate 
in a like manner, or he will hinder rather than help a 
man's development. 

Hence Pestalozzi's efforts to find the very simplest 
beginnings of knowledge (through intuitions), so that 
the learner might obtain a method and a habit of judg- 
ing, inquiring and classifying. " The simple question : 
' What materials in the three natural kingdoms can man 
use for his clothing ? ' gives an example of this. The 
child will consider and examine, from this point of view, 
many materials which he thinks may help him towards 
finding the answer to this technological problem. By 
such means he himself constructs the knowledge which 
he is to obtain. Of course the necessary subject matter 
must be made accessible to him in every possible way." 

Of his actual methods we get some direct information 
from one of his own pupils. De Guimps speaks of " our 
mountain excursions. ... As soon as we got to the 
high mountain pastures under the pines, we lost our 
feeling of fatigue, and fell to playing games or collect- 
ing herbs and minerals. ... On returning from these 
excursions the pupils had to describe them, either orally 
or in writing, according to their ages. There was gener- 
ally a great deal to say, as our attention was always 
carefully drawn to everything likely to prove instructive. 
These excursions were, in fact, practical lessons in 
natural history and geography." 

Pestalozzi, in speaking of Kriisi, says: "In conse- 


quence of our gathering plants, during the summer, and 
of the conversations to which this gave rise, he was 
brought to the conviction that the whole round of 
knowledge, to the acquisition of which our senses are 
instrumental, depended on an attentive observation of 
nature, and on a careful collection and preservation of 
whatever she presents to our thirst for knowledge ". 

In the institute the masters brought different objects 
under the pupils' immediate observation, and, by careful 
questioning, encouraged them to tell what they observed. 
The objects generally taken were such as the pupils 
brought home from their walks; but these were sup- 
plemented by collections of minerals, plants, stuffed 
animals, etc. 

" Natural history and physical science were taught 
entirely without plan, though, in some instances, in a 
manner decidedly superior. The children were led to 
observe and to examine for themselves such objects and 
phenomena as were within reach ; and, to enlarge the 
sphere of their knowledge, their teachers made excur- 
sions with them in different directions through the 
country. Sometimes they would all travel together, at 
other times they were divided into several troops, which, 
on their return home, communicated to each other the 
results of their observations. In an establishment in 
which there were no standing vacations, a few weeks 
every year could well be devoted to such expeditions, 
without encroaching on the time of their regular studies ; 
and, in a country so eminent for the abundance and 
variety of its natural productions, it was impossible 
that the pupils should not, under the guidance of intel- 
ligent teachers, acquire rich stores of real information. 
The only objection that lay against the method pur- 


sued in the institution on these subjects, was that the 
pupils did not acquire a comprehensive view of the 
sciences, but that their knowledge, being gathered as it 
were upon casualties in the first instance, had a ten- 
dency afterwards to remain fragmentary" (Dr. Biber). 

In his Report to the Society of the Friends of Education, 
written in 1800, while he was at Burgdorf, Pestalozzi 
says : '* If the child knows simple bodies — air, earth, 
water and fire — I show him the effects of these ele- 
ments on bodies which he knows, and as he learns to 
know the properties of several simple bodies, I demon- 
strate to him the different effects obtained by uniting 
one body to another; and lead him, always by the 
simplest course of sense-impressions, to the boundaries 
of the higher sciences ". 

No one could be more opposed to the verbal method 
in science-teaching, i.e., the lecture and text-book 
methods. He says : " All science-teaching that is dic- 
tated, explained and analysed by men who have not 
learnt truly to think and speak in agreement with the 
laws of nature : all science-teaching of which the 
definitions are forced, as if by magic, into the minds 
of children like a Dens ex Machina, or, rather, are 
blown into their ears after the manner of a stage- 
prompter — so far as it does go in — must necessarily 
degrade into a miserable caricature of education. 

" For where the fundamental powers of the human 
mind are left unawakened ; and when words are 
crowded upon the sleeping powers, we make dreamers, 
who dream unreasonably and irregularly, in proportion 
as the words, crammed into these unhappy open- 
mouthed creatures, are big and pretentious. Such 
scholars dream of anything in the world except that 

MUSIC. 237 

they are asleep and dreaming. ... I do not deny that 
even such methods may turn out satisfactory tailors, 
shoemakers, tradesmen and soldiers ; but I do deny 
that they can produce a tailor or a tradesman who is a 
man in the highest sense of the word." 

Writing of his visit to Yverdon, in 1805, Froebel 
says: "In natural history I heard only the botany. 
The principal teacher, who also prepared the plan of 
instruction for this subject throughout the school, was 
Hopf, who was an active young man like the rest. The 
curriculum arranged and carried out by him had in it 
much that was excellent. In each individual case, e.g., 
the shape and position of leaves, flowers, etc, he would 
first obtain all the possible varieties of form, by question 
and answer between the class and himself, and then he 
would pick out from the results the form which was 
before them in nature. These lessons were in this way 
made attractive." 

Music. We have already seen the high value which 
Pestalozzi attached to music as a moral influence. 
Writing of it as a means of aesthetic development, he 
says : " Nature has two principal and general means of 
leading human activity towards the cultivation of the 
arts, and these should be used, if not before, at least at 
the same time as any particular means. They are 
singing and the sense of the beautiful. The mother 
lulls her child with song ; but here, as in all else, we 
refuse to follow the law of nature. . . . Why has not 
the progress of the arts during so many centuries 
managed to find us what is necessary to carry on 
these lullabies in after life ? Why has it not given us 
a set of national songs capable of elevating the very 
humblest souls, and passing from the simple cradle 


melody to the sublime hymn of praise to God ? I am 
incapable of supplying the want, alas ! I can only call 
attention to it." There is something specially striking 
in such views in one who '* could not even sing, though, 
when unusually excited or elated, would hum to him- 
self snatches of poetry ; not, however, with very much 

At Burgdorf M. Buss was the teacher of music. 
Ramsauer tells us that : " The thirty or forty children 
of both sexes in Pestalozzi's old school came from the 
town to the castle to take part in the singing. Buss 
made his pupils sing as they walked, two by two, 
holding each other's hand, up and down the big cor- 
ridors of the castle. This was our greatest pleasure. . . . 
Indeed singing was one of our chief sources of enjoy- 
ment in the institute. We sang everywhere — out of 
doors, during our walks, and, in the evening, in the court 
of the castle ; and this collective singing contributed, 
in no small degree, to the harmony and good feeling 
which prevailed among us." 

De Guimps, in describing the " mountain excursions " 
from Yverdon, says : " We would sing gaily as we passed 
through the villages, where the peasants often gave us 
fruit. As soon as we got to the high mountain pastures 
under the pines . . , we often assembled at some good 
point of view to sing the wild, simple Alpine melodies 
our masters loved to teach us. To-day, after more than 
sixty years, I can recall those songs as vividly as in 
those early days when I first sang them, and they still 
seem very beautiful to me." In another place he tells 
us that the Christmas Eve festivities were " interspersed 
with joyous songs, in which the children always took 
the greatest pleasure. Indeed, singing played a great 

MUSIC. 239 

part in Pestalozzi's institute, and was the joy of almost 
every one in the house. There was singing everywhere 
and always." 

Dr. Biber speaks of "the cheerful songs with which 
the youthful choir of Pestalozzi's pupils saluted the 
rising sun, or the lovely breezes of returning spring 
. . . the hymns of praise and thanksgiving, especially 
reserved for solemn occasions ". 

Two Swiss, Nageli and Pfeiffer, rendered great assist- 
ance in this work by publishing some excellent collec- 
tions of sweet and simple songs for children ; and training 
the pupils in the institute on a definite and systematic 
plan. This was quite a new feature in education, at 
that time. The teaching was based upon a new musical 
notation which had been invented by Rousseau, in 1741. 
In this the movable Do is adopted, and the notes of the 
scale are indicted by the numbers i. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. i. 
For the absolute pitch, as it is called, of the notes as 
shown on the staff the old syllable letter names were re- 
tained, viz.y ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si ; and C. D. E. F. G. A. 
B. In effect, it anticipated all the essential principles of 
the Tonic Sol-Fa method — indeed the Rev. John Curwen 
testified that he was deeply indebted to it. for his system 
— and has been greatly extended and improved by M. 
Cheve. It is now much used in France, and is known 
as the Cheve method. It is also known and used in 

The order of teaching was: (i) The first exercises 
were entirely given to the time value of the notes ; the 
crotchet being the unit, of which the minim was the 
double, and so on for the longer notes : the quaver was 
the half, and so on for the shorter notes. The rests were 
taught in connection with the note whose place they 


took. (2) Next the arrangement of notes in a bar: the 
different "times" (common, triple, etc.)* subdivisions 
of the lengths of notes by dotting, binding and group- 
ing. In this the pupil was led, by questioning, to the 
discovery of as much as possible. Both the first and 
second steps concern rhythm, and, therefore, all the 
exercises were on the same note, so that the pupil's 
attention might be entirely confined to the time element. 

Next is taken (3) ''melody," i.e., the ascending and 
descending succession of notes. All the early exercises 
are with notes of equal length ; in order that the atten- 
tion may be given wholly to the tune element. At this 
point the teacher is, by testing, to find out the vocal 
capabilities of the child. Then comes (4) a study of 
intervals, through the tetrachord, i.e., the succession of 
four notes separated by a tone between the first and 
second and the second and third, and a semitone 
between the third and fourth ; which make up half 
an octave. These exercises are notated thus: i. 2. i .. 
2. 3. 2 .. 3. 4. 3 .. 4. I 4. 3. 4 .. 3. 2. 3 .. 2. I. 2 .. I.— in 
which the double dots (..) stand for a pause, and the per- 
pendicular stroke for a longer pause. After various exer- 
cises on this interval — a second — there follow exercises 
on the third, e.g., i. 2. 3. i. 3 .. 2. 3. 4. 2. 4. | 4. 3. 2. 4. 
2 .. 3. 2. I. 3. I. etc. ; and so on with the other intervals. 
When these have been mastered, the teacher is to sing 
the same or similar intervals, and ask the pupils to tell 
what he has sung. These exercises will train both 
voice and ear. 

The above exercises are carried on by means of this 
diagram on the blackboard : — 

MUSIC. 241 

The teacher is to indicate with a pointer the various 
successions to be sung : the four notes being called 
I. 2. 3. 4. 

The next step (5) consists in working with two tetra- 
chords. In the first exercise the last note of the first 
tetrachord becomes the first note of the second. Next 
the second tetrachord is started one note higher than 
the last note of the first tetrachord, e.g. — 

(a) I. 2. 3. 4. (b) I. 2. 3. 4. 

: : : I. 2. 3. 4. : : : : i, 2. 3. 4. 

Now since the last interval in the tetrachord must be a 
semitone, it will be seen that these exercises give us, in 
connected form : i. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. yb and i. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 


Thus the learner is introduced to sharps and flats, 
and the scales. This will easily be seen if we use the 
ordinary letter names (absolute pitch), and extend the 

(a) C. D. E. F. (b) 

F. G. A. Bb. 

Bb C. D. Eb. 

Eb F. G. Ab. 

In connection with these exercises the staff is intro- 
duced. At first all the exercises are written with the C 
clef, because all the notes can be kept within the staff, 
and the beginner is thus less likely to get confused. 
Leger lines are introduced later on ; and the chro- 
matic scale is evolved through the above exercises. 
The pupils are thoroughly questioned on the differences 
between the diatonic and the chromatic scales, until 
the teacher is quite convinced that they have mastered 


C. D. 

E. F. 

G. A. 

B. C. 

D. E. 


A. B. 



After this the pupil is to be taken through voice 
culture, harmony and composition. But as all this is 
beyond the elements, so far as young children are con- 
cerned, we need not even give an outline of it. Suffi- 
cient, it is hoped, has been said to give an idea of the 
general method. 

Manual Work and Physical Training. Of this Pes- 
talozzi says : "In endeavouring to impart to the child 
those practical abilities which every man stands in need 
of, we ought to follow essentially the same progress as 
in the communication of knowledge; beginning from 
an alphabet of abilities, if I may so express myself: 
that is to say, from the simplest practical exercises, 
which, being combined with each other, would serve 
to develop in the child a general fund of ability, to 
be applied to whatever purpose circumstances might 
render it necessary in after life. 

" Such an alphabet, however, has not yet been 
found, and that from the obvious reason that it has 
not been sought for. I am not inclined to think that 
it would be very difficult to discover it, especially if the 
research were made with the same zeal with which 
even the trivial abilities connected with the operation 
of money-getting are attended to. If once discovered 
it would be of essential benefit to mankind. It ought 
to comprise the simplest performances of the bodily 
organs of action, such as striking, carrying, throwing, 
pushing, pulling, turning, twisting, swinging, etc. What- 
ever manipulations may occur in any calling may be 
reduced to some one or more of the simple actions and 
their combinations. The alphabet of abilities should 
therefore consist of a complete succession of them all, 
arranged in the order in which they follow each other 


practically, according to the structure of the human 
body, and the greater or less pliability of its different 

" Our popular education, of course, knows nothing 
whatever of a succession of exercises which would lead 
from those simplest performances to the highest de- 
gree of bodily self-command, in which we might com- 
bine them in a variety of ways ; and use our arms and 
legs, now in parallel, and then in opposite directions. 
. . . We have schools for spelling, for writing, for 
learning the catechism, but we have no schools for 
the education of human beings. . . . 

** In cultivating our practical abilities we are obliged 
to act ; whereas knowledge may be obtained in an almost 
passive state : we need only open our eyes and our ears. 
In this there is no exertion of the will, at least not so 
far as to qualify the impression to be received ; the 
character of which depends, on the contrary, on the 
object of nature that is presented to our senses at the 
time. But in the exercise of our abilities we are the 
prime movers, the originators of the fact itself; we 
determine and qualify the act which we intend to per- 
form ; and though we are obliged to confine ourselves 
within the limits which the law of our physical nature 
has prescribed to us in our powers and organs of 
action, yet we are not, as is the case in perception, 
mainly dependent on outward objects. 

" The same principles by which the development of 
our practical abilities is regulated, ought also to preside 
over their application. Whatever is calculated to lead 
to a partial and merely fragmentary cultivation or use 
of those abilities, which are essentially required to 
satisfy the wants of human nature generally, and the 



claims of each peculiar calling and station, is contrary 
to the true art of education ; because out of harmony 
with that law of nature which enjoins upon us the 
maintenance of harmony and equilibrium in our own 
state, as well as in the different relationships of life in 
which we are providentially placed. . . . 

"The alphabet of abilities is intended to lay the 
groundwork of future virtues, in the progress of our 
moral education. Self-command over our physical 
powers and movements is, as it were, the apprentice- 
ship of virtue, in the bondage of which we are to be 
kept, until the development of higher powers assigns to 
our physical nature at once a subordinate position, and 
a more elevated aim. Upon the attainment of practical 
abilities positive rules are to be built ; in the same 
manner as clear ideas upon distinct and comprehensive 
intuitions ; and the former, as well as the latter, are to 
be summed up in definitions. ... A neglect of the 
practical abilities of life produces exactly the same effect 
as the mistake of inculcating the doctrines of virtue and 
of faith, before a practical feeling of either has been 
produced in the mind." 

De Guimps gives an account of the manual work and 
physical training as carried on at Yverdon. " When 
the weather permitted, some hours in the afternoon 
were, every week, given to military exercises. The 
pupils were formed into a regiment, with flag, drum, 
band and arsenal ; and soon became skilful in the most 
complicated manoeuvres. When they engaged in shoot- 
ing, the non-commissioned officers were told off to make 
the cartridges, under the directions of the chief in- 
structor. From time to time they had sham fights in 
some suitable place a few miles from the town. On 


these occasions they started very early in the morning, 
accompanied by a waggon in which were the provisions 
and ammunition. Many parents and lookers-on often 
joined the party; so that it was an exciting time for 
the pupils. Sometimes, too, they practised target-shoot- 
ing : the prize for which was an ewe with its lamb, and 
the use of a little shed in the garden. 

" Gymnastics, prisoner's base, and other games were 
played regularly. . . . Manual labour had a place in 
Pestalozzi's programme : it was often tried at the insti- 
tute, but never kept up in a regular manner. The large 
number of, and the diversity amongst, the pupils and 
the occupations seemed to prove an insurmountable 
difficulty. Gardening succeeded best of all. Some- 
times the pupils had their own little plots to cultivate ; 
and sometimes they were sent by turns, in twos and 
threes, to work for a few hours under the directions of 
a gardener. Some did fairly well at book-binding and 
cardboard-work, in which they made the solids for the 
study of geometry." 

In the letter describing his experiences at Stanz 
Pestalozzi says : '' I tried to connect study with manual 
labour, the school with the workshop, and make one 
thing of them. ... I am more than ever convinced 
that as soon as we have educational establishments 
connected with workshops, and carried on upon a truly 
psychological basis, a generation will inevitably be pro- 
duced which will prove to us by experience that our 
present studies do not need a tenth part of the time or 
trouble we now give to them." 

Pestalozzi's purpose in manual work was, in the first 
instance — as at Neuhof and Stanz — somewhat narrow 
and likely to prejudice a child's future ; for it was de- 


signed to teach him an occupation by which he would 
earn his living. To do this before the pupil had shown 
what special abilities, inclinations and opportunities 
he might have, was likely to dwarf his development and 
sacrifice his social usefulness. He seems to have re- 
alised this, and based his theory on the point of view 
contained in this question : *' What are the means of 
developing in the child those practical abilities which 
the ultimate purpose of his existence, as well as the 
changeable positions and relations of life will, or may, 
require of him ; and cultivating them to such a degree 
of perfection, that the fulfilment of his duties will be to 
him, not only possible or easy, but in reality a second 

Latin. A very interesting account of the application 
of his principles, by Pestalozzi himself, to the teaching of 
Latin, is given by De Guimps. ^' He considered the best 
means of teaching a foreign language to be that which 
nature employs in teaching a child to speak its mother- 
tongue, viz., constant practice in the spoken language. 
It was thus that, with the addition of a little grammar, 
the Germans learned French, and the French learned 
German, most successfully, at Yverdon. Pestalozzi, 
thereupon, asked himself if it would not be possible to 
use the like means for teaching a dead language, and 
he resolved to try the experiment." 

So, when sufficiently recovered from a painful illness 
to lie on the sofa, he caused '' some six or seven children 
who had not yet begun Latin, amongst them the writer 
of these lines, [to be] brought to his couch every day. 
[He] had with much care selected from Ccesar's Com- 
mentaries a number of short passages and detached 
phrases, all bearing on the same subject, and nearly all 

LATIN. 247 

containing the same words ; with these selections he 
had, in his illegible hand, covered several sheets. As 
we stood by the couch, where he lay weak and suffering, 
he would give us a phrase which we all had to repeat 
until we knew it by heart. He would then explain the 
different words, and point out some of the changes 
which they undergo when it is required to modify the 
sense of the sentence. 

" In this way the study of syntax and accidence went 
on hand in hand. We were soon able to make certain 
changes for ourselves, and to construct sentences of such 
elements as were known to us ; that is to say, with a 
very limited vocabulary, and a very narrow range of 
topics, we spoke Latin like Caesar. These lessons were 
continued during the whole period of the old man's con- 

Pestalozzi, in his Swans Song, asserts that " A child 
soon learns to speak a foreign language even from an 
illiterate person, who merely talks to him without any 
attempt at instruction ; but he does not do this with a 
skilful teacher who adopts the mechanical grammatical 
method ". 

Dr. Mayo gives this account of Pestalozzi's plan : 
'* He does not begin with definitions, because a child 
never comprehends them ; but, first calling up the idea 
in the child's mind by conversing with him, he gives 
him the simple sentence : Leo est animal. Here the 
words leo and animal being, one almost the same the 
other just the same as, those which express the same 
idea in English, they readily enter the child's mind. 
From this he proceeds to : An apis is what ? An 
animal, says the child, using the word he had learnt 
just before. Proceeding in this manner he stocks the 


child's mind with words, before he enters on the in- 
flections of those words — always endeavouring to link 
what the child has next to learn with what he has 
already acquired. 

" In the declensions he does not propose to the 
child : Musa, a muse ; musce, of a muse ; words which 
cannot interest the child, because they represent only 
parts of ideas. He involves the important word in 
sentences, e.g., Rosa est flos ; Rosce odor est sttavis, etc., 
through all the cases. The child having learnt the 
inflection of Rosa has a similar word proposed to him, 
also enveloped in little sentences, but he is now re- 
quired to find the terminations. In teaching syntax he 
gives examples which lead the child to find the rule ; 
and then makes it apply the rule, in the same way as 
in the declensions. 

*' The advantages of this method are briefly these: 
you do not disgust the child in his first intellectual 
exertions ; you exercise other faculties besides memory ; 
you enrich his mind with a great number of ideas ; and 
you furnish him with a copia verborium before you set 
him down to translate a classical author, or to express 
his own ideas in a connected chain in the language." 

Pestalozzi points out that whilst some are ready 
to admit — because they cannot help doing so — that 
modern languages may be learned in this way, yet 
they most strongly maintain that the orthodox method 
of teaching the dead languages has proved, by its 
successful results, to be sound, and that it is really 
based on a firm and psychological foundation as to its 
advanced stages. While he admits the latter claim — as 
to the advanced stages — he affirms that the old method 
of teaching the rudiments of the classics is, both from 


the psychological standpoint and in regard to the 
memory element, unnatural and inefficient. 

He holds that the study of language, properly carried 
out, forms the connecting link between the faculty of 
sense-perception and the faculty of thought. The 
three faculties, perception, language and thought, are 
the whole means of intellectual education. For these 
reasons the study of foreign languages should be in 
complete agreement with that of the mother-tongue. 
Good practical proof of the truth of this, says Pesta- 
lozzi, is found in the fact that uneducated foreign nurse- 
maids are able successfully to teach their own language 
to little children by following this natural method ; 
and that foreigners soon pick up the language of a 
country by the like method. 

Pestalozzi seems to have taken up the question of 
the teaching of the dead languages with all his ardent 
and intense enthusiasm. Dr. Mayo sa3/s : " Pestalozzi 
is mad about the application of his system to the 
classics ... as he had a clever little German to aid 
him he may throw some light on this most difficult 
branch ". 

Teaching of Morals. Positive morality was, like 
other things, to be taught through facts and acts not 
words. " Gliilphi was deeply impressed with the truth 
that education is not imparted by words but by facts. 
For kindling the flame of love and devotion in their 
souls, he trusted not to the hearing and learning by 
heart of passages setting forth the beauties of love and 
its blessings ; but he endeavoured to manifest to them 
a spirit of genuine charity, and to encourage them to 
the practice of it both by example and precept. He led 
them to live in love. . . . If there was any one ill in the 


house of any of the children, were it father or mother, 
or brother or sister, or even the meanest servant, he 
never failed to ask the child, the moment he entered 
the school-room, how the invalid did, and the child had 
to give him a detailed and accurate account. . . . 

" The children were asked likewise, whether they had 
spoken themselves to the invalid, and whether they 
had contributed to alleviate his sufferings, if it were 
only by avoiding every noise and bustle in the house. 
Of the older children, Gliilphi inquired whether they 
sat up with their sick, and how long they could bear 
it ; and he testified to them his approbation when he 
found they did so willingly. ... It was in this spirit 
he taught faith and love practically ; and the children 
showed that they understood his instruction, more 
frequently by tears of emotion, or by a significant si- 
lence, than by clever answers to catechetical questions 
on the respective doctrines " (Leonard and Gertrude). 

Of the moral education of the children at Stanz he 
writes : ** My one aim was to make their new life in 
common, and their new powers, awaken a feeling of 
brotherhood amongst the children, and make them 
affectionate, just and considerate. I reached this end 
without much difficulty. Amongst these seventy wild 
beggar-children there soon existed such peace, friend- 
ship and cordial relations as are rare even between 
actual brothers and sisters." This he did by the 
example of his own behaviour to them, and by giving 
them opportunities for behaving similarly to others. 
This touching incident is related by him : — 

''When the neighbouring town of Altdorf was burnt 
down, I gathered the children round me, and said, 
' Altdorf has been burnt down ; perhaps, at this very 


moment, there are a hundred children there without 
home, food or clothes ; will you not ask our good 
Government to let twenty of them come and live with 
us ? ' I still seem to see the emotion with which they 
answered, ' Oh, yes, yes ! ' ' But, my children,' I said, 
' think well of what you are asking ! Even now we 
have scarcely money enough ; and it is not at all certain 
that if these poor children came to us, the Government 
would give us any more than they do at present, so 
that you might have to work harder, and share your 
clothes with these children, and sometimes, perhaps, 
go without food. Do not say, then, that you would 
like them to come unless you are quite prepared for all 
these consequences.' After having spoken to them in 
this way as seriously as I could, I made them repeat all 
I had said, to be quite sure that they had thoroughly 
understood what the consequences of their request 
would be. But they were not the least shaken in their 
decision, and all repeated, ' Yes, yes, we are quite ready 
to work harder, eat less, and share our clothes, for we 
want them to come '." 

Pestalozzi then reveals — quite unconsciously, ap- 
parently — one of his deep insights into the possibilities 
of human education. He writes: "I followed up this 
awakening of the sentiments by exercises intended to 
teach the children self-control, and interest the best 
natures amongst them in the practical questions of 
everyday life. It will easily be understood, in this re- 
spect, it was not possible to organise any system of 
discipline for the establishment ; that could only come 
slowly, as the general work developed. . . . One young 
girl, for instance, who had been little better than a 
savage, by keeping her head and body upright, and not 


looking about, made more progress in her moral educa- 
tion than any one would have believed possible. These 
experiences have shown me that the mere habit of 
carrying oneself well does much more for the education 
of the moral sentiments than any amount of telling and 
lecturing in which this simple fact is ignored." This 
interaction of mind on body, and body on mind, as a 
means of development is one of the greatest truths of 
scientific education. 

True to his theory that all knowledge comes through 
language, form and number, Pestalozzi uses language 
as a means of moral education. He holds that percep- 
tion in the intellectual world is associated with language, 
in the same way as sense-perception in the physical 
world depends on external objects (nature). Therefore, 
in the teaching of grammar through sentence-making, 
etc., the examples should be in harmony with the cir- 
cumstances of the learner, and should convey inspiring 
moral sentiments to the child's mind. 

This idea he worked out, with some detail, in The 
Natural Schoolmaster : a Father s Lessons on the Custo- 
mary use of Words, a legacy from Father Pestalozzi to his 
pupils, written some time between 1802 and 1805, and 
first published in 1829. In this book he uses words as 
the texts for short moral exhortations. Thus: ''achten, 
achtend, geachtet, erachten, beobachten, hoehachten, 
verachten, sich selbstachten ; die Achtung, die Selb- 
stachtung. Children ! the first word I am going to 
explain to you is Selbstachtung (self-attention, self-re- 
spect). This it is which makes you blush when you 
have done wrong: which causes you to love virtue, 
pray to God, believe in everlasting life, and overcome 
sin. This it is that makes you honour old age and 


wisdom, and prevents you turning aside from poverty 
and distress : enables you to resist error and falsehood : 
and teaches you to love the truth. Children ! this it is 
that makes the coward a hero : the idler a worker ; and 
causes us to respect the stranger, and go to the rescue 
of the outcast and fallen." 

In a letter to Gessner, quoted by Kriisi in his 
preface to the work, Pestalozzi writes: "I hope to 
complete my reading lessons by a legacy to my pupils, 
in which, after my death, they will find, connected 
with the principal verbs in the language, and ex- 
pressed in such a manner as to strike them as they 
struck me, a certain number of moral instructions, all 
drawn from my own experience ". Here are some 
examples : — 

" Breathing, 

" On thy breath hangs thy life, O man ! When thou 
breathest wrath and vengeance, and convertest the pure 
air of heaven into poison within thy lungs, what else 
doest thou but hasten the day when thou shalt be 
breathless, and the oppressed and afflicted shall be 
delivered from the fury of thine anger ? 

" Thinking, 

"Thinking leads man to knowledge. He may see 
and hear, and read and learn whatever he please, and 
as much as he please : he will never know any of it, 
except that which he has thought over, that which by 
thinking he has made the property of his mind. Is it 
then saying too much, if I say, that man by thinking, 
only becomes truly man. Take away thought from 
man's life, and what remains ? 


' ' Hoping. 

" Hoping and waiting make many a fool. And are 
we, then, not to hope at all ? How unhappy would 
man be without that beam of hope, which in suffering 
and sorrow sheds light through the darkness of his soul. 
But his hope must be intelligent. He must not hope 
where there is no hope. He must look at the past Vv^ith 
a steady eye, in order to know what he may hope of the 

*' Threatening. 

" It is a misfortune if one man threaten another. 
Either he is corrupt who does it, or he who requires it- 

' ' Failing. 

"All men fail, and manifold are their failings. 
Nothing is perfect under the sun. But, unless a man 
despise himself, he will not think lightly of any of his 


" The best alms is that which enables the receiver to 
cease from begging. 

" Changing. 

" Change, my child, change all that thou doest and 
performest, until thou have perfected it, and thou be 
fully satisfied with it. Change not thyself, however, 
like a weathercock with every wind ; but change thy- 
self so that thou mayest become better and nobler, 
and that all that thou doest may be ever more perfect 
and excellent. No such change will ever cause thee 
to repent." 

While such a means of teaching morals has much 


that is suggestive, and some points that are sound, it 
is — to say the least — somewhat forced and fanciful. 
Here, as elsewhere, Pestalozzi has let his method run 
away with him. 

One point urged by Pestalozzi is very striking and 
important, viz., that a mother must expect, sympathise 
with, and help towards her child's independence of 
herself. He says: "In the progress of time the child 
not only is daily exercising and strengthening its phy- 
sical faculties, but it begins also to feel intellectually 
and morally independent. From observation and 
memory there is only one step to reflection. Though 
imperfect, yet this operation is frequently found among 
the early exercises of the infant mind. The power- 
ful stimulus of inquisitiveness prompts to exertions, 
which, if successful, or encouraged by others, will lead 
to a habit of thought. . . . The child, then, begins to 
judge for himself, not of things only, but also of men : 
he acquires an idea of character : he grows, more and 
more, morally independent'' (On Infants' Education). 



The School Atmosphere. The school is not to be a 
mere learning-shop, where it is the child's work to get 
through certain tasks, and the teacher's business to see 
that he does it. The school is to be the home, with a 
difference. There must be the loving relation of parent 
to child ; and there must be, as far as possible, the 
same opportunities of using the ordinary actions and 
objects of daily life as means of development and in- 

At the Burgdorf institution a visitor exclaimed : " Why, 
this is not a school: it is a family!" Pestalozzi 
said: "That is the highest praise you can give me. 
I have succeeded, thank God, in showing the world 
that there must be no gulf between the home and the 
school ; and that the latter is only helpful to education 
in so far as it develops the feelings and virtues which 
give the charm and worth to family life." 

When Gliilphi asks Gertrude, in Leonard and Ger- 
trude, whether she thought it would be possible to 
introduce into a regular school the same methods that 
she followed at home with her own children, she re- 
plies : " I am not sure, although I am inclined to think 
that what is possible with ten children would be possible 
with forty. But it would be difficult to find a school- 


Johann Heinrich Meyer, 1812. 


An allegorical picture; Pestalozzi is in his room at the Castle, yet the Castle is in 
the scene through the window. 

From a transparency in the possession oj Miss Mayo. 


master who would allow such arrangements in his 

Gertrude's home education method is thus described : 
All the children, immediately after breakfast, helped to 
wash the dishes, and then seated themselves at their 
spinning. First they sang their morning hymn, and 
then Gertrude read aloud a chapter from the Bible, 
the children repeating it after her, while going on with 
their spinning. Any particularly instructive passage 
was repeated until it was known by heart. The eldest 
daughter was, meantime, engaged in making the chil- 
dren's beds in the next room, but she also said (to 
herself) what the others were saying. When she had 
finished the bed she went to the garden and fetched the 
vegetables for the day's dinner. While cleaning these 
she continued to repeat verses from the Bible. 

Whenever Gertrude saw that the children were in 
any difficulty with their wheels or cotton, she would go 
to them and put matters right. The younger children, 
being unable to spin, were set to pick over the cotton 
for carding, and this they did with great skill. Ger- 
trude's chief desire was to train the children in their 
work : to make them skilful and good at it. 

She was in no hurry to teach them to read and write. 
It was necessary, she said, to teach them to speak be- 
fore teaching reading or writing, for these *' are only an 
artificial sort of speech ". To get them to speak well 
she made them pronounce syllables after her in regular 
succession. These syllables she got from an old ABC 
book. But her chief concern in this sort of education 
was to make the children observe things. She did not 
say to a child: "This is your head: this your nose: 
this your hand; this your finger". Nor did she ask: 



"Which is your eye: your ear?" But she would 
say : '* Come here, my child, I will wash your little 
hands: I will comb your hair: I will cut your finger- 
nails ". In this way the children learned to name 
these parts of their body in the course of their ordi- 
nary dealings with them : there was no mere verbal 

The result was that the children were skilful and 
intelligent ; and able to do all such things that children 
of their age should. To educate them in number-work 
she taught them to count the number of steps they took 
to go from one end of the room to the other ; and she 
made use of two rows of window panes (each row having 
five panes in it) to explain the decimal relations of 
numbers. They also counted their threads, and the 
number of turns on a reel. She taught them to ob- 
serve, intelligently and accurately, many common ob- 
jects and the forces of nature. 

That Pestalozzi fully believed in the possibility of 
transferring the spirit of home-education to the school 
is clearly shown by his statement concerning his work 
at Stanz: *' I wanted to prove by my experiment that 
if public education is to have any real value, it must 
imitate the methods which make the merit of domestic 
education ". In fact he accepted the work with a view 
to prove that his ideas were practicable. In the letter 
about his work at Stanz he writes: *'As I have ex- 
plained my plan for the public education of the poor in 
the third and fourth parts of Leonard and Gertrude, I 
need not repeat it here. I submitted it to the Director 
Stapfer, with all the enthusiasm of a man who felt that 
his hopes were about to be realised ; and he encouraged 
me with an earnestness which showed how thoroughly 


he understood the needs of popular education. It was 
the same with Minister Rengger." 

His criticism on the atmosphere of the common 
school of his day is very searching and severe: "Our 
unpsychological schools are in essence merely artificial 
sterilising machines, for destroying all the results of 
the power and experience that nature herself calls to 
life in children. . . . 

" We leave children, up to their fifth year, in the full 
enjoyment of nature ; we allow every impression of 
nature to influence them : the}^ feel the power of these : 
they learn to know full well the joy of unhampered 
freedom and all its delights. The free natural bent 
which the happy, untamed, sensuous being derives from 
his development, has already taken in them its most 
definite direction. 

" And, after they have enjoyed this happiness of 
sensuous life for five full years, we cut them off from all 
their natural surroundings : tyrannically bring to an 
end the delightful course of their unhampered freedom : 
pen them up like sheep, whole herds huddled together 
in stifling rooms : pitilessly chain them for hours, days, 
weeks, months, years, to the study of unattractive and 
wearisome letters: and, compared with their former 
condition, tie them to a maddening course of life " {How 
Gertrude Teaches). 

While the intellectual atmosphere is to be quickening 
and natural ; the moral atmosphere must, first and last, 
be grounded in and permeated by love. Love was the 
key that unlocked the hearts of Glulphi's pupils, and 
opened to him the high road to success. " His com- 
passion and his love brought the eminent qualities 
which he possessed for the office of a schoolmaster 

17 * 


into full play, and made him a very different man from 
what he had been at first. He now saw that it was on 
these tender feelings that all the influence of Gertrude 
in her domestic circle rested, and when he recalled to 
his mind the image of maternal kindness and faithful- 
ness which he had from the beginning chosen for his 
model, he remembered at once the beautiful words of 
the Psalmist : ' Like as a father pitieth his children, so 
the Lord pitieth them that fear Him '. And he said to 
himself: ' as the Lord pitieth them that fear Him, so 
ought I to pity the children of this village, if I truly 
love them, and mean to be their schoolmaster '. 

'' Gertrude and Gliilphi did, from morning to night, 
all in their power to retain the confidence and affection 
of the children. They were constantly assisting them 
with kindness and forbearance. They knew that con- 
fidence can only be obtained by a union of power and 
love, and by deeds which claim gratitude in every human 
breast ; and, accordingly, they endeavoured daily still 
farther to attach the hearts of the children to them- 
selves, by conferring upon them numberless obligations, 
in a spirit of active charity" (Leonard and Gertrude). 

Writing of his work at Stanz, Pestalozzi remarks : 
" Before all things I was bound to gain the confidence 
and the love of the children. I was sure that if I suc- 
ceeded in this all the rest would come of itself. . . . 
These children gradually became attached to me ; some 
indeed so deeply that they contradicted their parents 
and friends when they heard them say evil things about 
me. They felt that I was not being treated fairly, and 
loved me, I believe, the more because of this." 

Near the end of his life he writes : " Maternal love 
is the most powerful agent, and affection is the primi- 


tive motive in education " {On Infants Education). 
'*The natural means for early education are to be 
sought in the enlightened love, faith and tenderness of 
parents — made wise by a knowledge of all the conquests 
humanity has accomplished " {Swan's Song). 

Qualifications of a Teacher. The schoolmaster him- 
self must '' at least be an openhearted, cheerful, affec- 
tionate and kind man, who would be as a father to the 
children ; a man made on purpose to open children's 
hearts and their mouths, and to draw forth their under- 
standings as it were from the hindermost corner. In 
most schools, however, it is just the contrary ; the 
schoolmaster seems as if he were made on purpose to 
shut up children's mouths and hearts, and to bury their 
good understandings ever so deep underground. That 
is the reason why healthy and cheerful children, whose 
hearts are full of joy and gladness, hardly ever like 
school " (Christopher and Eliza). 

Pestalozzi, in How Gertrude Teaches, says : " I finish 
describing ; otherwise I shall come to the picture of 
the greater number of schoolmasters, of whom there are 
thousands to-day who have — solely on account of their 
unfitness to earn a respectable livelihood in any other 
way — subjected themselves to the laboriousness of this 
occupation ; and they, in accordance with their unsuit- 
ability for anything better, look upon their work as 
leading to nothing further, but sufficient to keep them 
from starvation ". In another place he says of Kriisi 
that, when he first began to teach, ''he knew no art 
of school-keeping other than that of setting tasks in 
spelling, reading, and learning by heart : repeating 
lessons by turns : warning and chastising with the rod, 
when the tasks were not known ". 


It is the first duty of the teacher, as such, to be 
interested and interesting. '* Interest in study is the 
first thing which a teacher . . . should endeavour to 
excite and keep aHve. There are scarcely any circum- 
stances in which a want of application in the children 
does not proceed from a want of interest ; and there are 
perhaps none, under which a want of interest does not 
originate in the method of treatment adopted by the 
teacher. I would go so far as to lay it down as a rule, 
that whenever children are inattentive, and apparently 
take no interest in a lesson, the teacher should always 
first look to himself for the reason. . . . 

" There is a most remarkable reciprocal action be- 
tween the interest which the teacher takes, and that 
which he communicates to his pupils. If he has not 
his whole mind absorbed in the subject ; if he does not 
care whether it is understood or not, whether his 
manner is liked or not, he will never fail to alienate 
the affections of his pupils, and render them indifferent 
to what he says. But real interest taken in the task 
of instruction — kind words, and kinder feelings — the 
very expression of the features, and the glance of the 
eye — are never lost upon children " {On Infants Educa- 

Of general knowledge, and training for teaching, 
Pestalozzi appears to think that the teacher — in the 
broadest sense of the term — has little, if any, need, so 
long as he is guided by those who have the proper 
qualifications. The reasons for this view are given in 
various parts of his writings : of which some typical 
passages are here given. 

'* Some of my children developed so well that I found 
that they were able to do some of the work that I did. 

teachers' qualifications. 263 

As soon as we have educational institutions combined 
with workshops, and conducted on truly psychological 
principles, we shall, I am thoroughly convinced, inevit- 
ably form a generation which will prove to us that our 
present studies require only about a tenth of the time 
and trouble we now give to them ; and that the time and 
trouble which will be demanded can be made to fit in 
so entirely with the facts of domestic life, that every 
parent will be able to give them, with the aid of one 
of the family or a friend. Such a state of things will 
daily become more easy, in proportion as the method of 
instruction is made more simple, and the number of 
educated people increased " (Letter about Stanz). 

Pestalozzi says that he convinced Kriisi of "the 
possibility of establishing such a method of instruc- 
tion as he felt was most needed, viz., one which would 
cause all the branches of knowledge to bear upon one 
another with such coherence and consistency as would 
require, on the part of the master, nothing but a 
knowledge of the mode of applying it, and, with that 
knowledge, would enable him to obtain not only for his 
children, but even for himself, all that is considered to 
be the object of instruction. That is to say, he saw 
that with this method positive learning might be dis- 
pensed with, and that nothing was wanted but sound 
common sense, and practical ability in teaching, in 
order not only to lead the minds of children to the 
acquirement of solid information, but likewise to bring 
parents and teachers to a satisfactory degree of inde- 
pendence and unfettered mental activity concerning 
those branches of knowledge in which they would 
submit themselves to the course prescribed by the 
method " (How Gertrude Teaches). 


M. Tobler says of Pestalozzi's efforts at simplifica- 
tion of method : " In trying the details of his method 
he never leaves any single exercise until he has so far 
investigated and simplified it, that it seems impossible 
to advance any farther. ... I became more and more 
convinced that it was possible to accomplish what I 
have before stated to have been the leading object of 
my own pursuits at a previous period, viz., to re- 
educate mothers for the fulfilment of that sacred task 
assigned to them by nature, the result of which would 
be that even the first instruction imparted in schools, 
would have previous maternal tuition for a foundation 
to rest upon. I saw a practical method discovered, 
which, admitting of universal application, would en- 
able parents, who have the welfare of their children at 
heart, to become themselves the teachers of their Httle 
ones " (How Gertrude Teaches). 

It is interesting to notice that in a pamphlet, published 
in 1778, describing his " Educational Establishment for 
poor children at Neuhof," Pestalozzi says : ** In the 
management of the establishment ... I have ... a 
man who winds for the weavers and teaches reading at 
at the same time '*. 

Pestalozzi wrote, with the aid of his assistants. The 
Book for Mothers and his Elementary Books, so that parents 
and others might be enabled to carry on the earliest 
education of infants. Shortly before the issue of these 
books (at Burgdorf), it will be remembered, the School 
Commission had reported that his plan of instruction 
was so simple and suitable that it '' could be applied 
during the earliest years at which instruction could be 
given in the family circle : by a mother, by a child who 
was a little older than the beginner, or by an intelligent 

teachers' qualifications. 265 

servant whilst doing her household work ". But Pesta- 
lozzi himself had doubts as to the practical success of 
such books. In the preface to The Book for Mothers he 
writes: *' I know quite well what will happen: this 
poor rind, which is simply the outer form of my method, 
will seem to be its real substance to many men, who 
will try to fit in this form with their own narrow circle 
of ideas, and will then judge of the value of my method 
according to the results which follow from this strange 
mixture ". 

M. Buss says of Pestalozzi's method: "The effect of 
Pestalozzi's method is to render every individual intel- 
lectually independent, by awakening and strengthening 
in him the power of advancing by himself in every 
branch of knowledge. It seemed like a great wheel, 
which, if once set going, would continue to turn round 
of itself. Nor did it appear so to me only. Hundreds 
came, and saw, and said : ' Why, that's what I can do 
myself at home with my child '. And they were right. 
The whole of the method is mere play for any one who 
has followed its progress sufficiently to be secured 
against the danger of straying into those round-about 
paths which lead man away from the foundation of 
nature. . . . Nature herself demands nothing of us, but 
what is easy, provided we seek it in the right way, and 
under her guidance." 

M. Fischer, in summarising Pestalozzi's theory of 
education, gave as one of the ways in which it sought 
to simplify the mechanism of instruction: ''The book 
is to replace the teacher ". Pestalozzi in commenting 
on this statement says that he considers this essential ; 
for, he believes, there can be no real advance until 
forms of instruction have been found, such that the 


teacher will be, at least for all elementary knowledge, 
the mere mechanical tool of a method : the results of 
which will inevitably arise from the method itself and 
not from the ability of the man who uses it. A text- 
book is only good in so far as an uninstructed school- 
master can use it, at any rate as far as absolute needs 
are concerned, almost as well as an educated and able 
teacher. The ignorant man and the mother must find 
in it sufficient guidance and help to enable him and 
her always to be a little in advance of the child, in re- 
lation to that to which they are to lead it. 

Other extracts from How Gertrude Teaches will show 
how firmly Pestalozzi held to the view that any one 
can teach, if he will only follow a plan laid down for 
him by one who has got to the roots of the matter : " If 
I could do fully what I try to do, it is only necessary 
for me to explain it, to enable the simplest man to do 
it afterwards. . . . Whatever he picks up from his text- 
books, and wishes to teach the children, should be so 
simple that every mother, and later every teacher, even 
those with the slightest ability for instruction, can follow, 
repeat, explain, and combine into a whole. ... I saw 
a universal psychological method developed, by which 
all parents who were inclined to do so, might be put in 
a position to instruct their own children, and thereby 
obviate the supposed need of training teachers, for a 
long period, in expensive institutions and by educational 

Simultaneous Oral Work. Pestalozzi's own view of 
this is clear and definite. He began it at Stanz ; when, 
without any experience, training, or skill in the art of 
teaching, he first dealt with a group of children under 
school conditions. He says: "I stood in the midst of 


these children, pronouncing various sounds and asking 
them to imitate me ; whoever saw it was struck with 
the effect. It is true it was a meteor which vanishes in 
the air as soon as it appears. No one understood its 
nature. I did not understand it myself. It was the 
result of a simple feeling, or rather of a fact of human 
nature which was revealed to my feelings, but of which 
I was far from having a clear consciousness " (Letter 
about Stanz). This seems to imply that — however 
ignorant and unprepared — the immediate reaction of 
the mind, to thre influence of a set of difficult circum- 
stances demanding instant solution, is likely to be 
fundamentally right. 

He again refers, in How Gertrude Teaches, to his ex- 
periences at Stanz, and says : " Being obliged to instruct 
the children by myself, without any assistance, I learned 
the art of teaching a great number together ; and as I 
had no other means of bringing the instruction before 
them, than that of pronouncing everything to them 
loudly and distinctly, I was naturally led to the idea of 
making them draw, write, or work, at the same time. 
The confusion of so many voices, repeating my words, 
suggested the necessity of keeping time in our exercises, 
and I soon found that this contributed materially to 
make their impressions stronger and more distinct." 

In his Guide for Teaching Spelling and Readings he 
says: ''A great advantage is to be gained for the in- 
struction of a large number of children in public schools, 
by accustoming them, from the very beginning, to pro- 
nounce simultaneously whatsoever sound may have 
been repeated or pointed out to them by the teachers, 
so that all their voices together shall produce but one 
sound. By doing this in a stated measure [i.e.^ sing- 


song], a large class is carried on with the same ease as 
a single pupil, and the effect produced upon the senses 
of the children is far more powerful." 

At the same time Pestalozzi appears to have had in 
mind a definite limitation of such work. In speaking of 
Kriisi's learning of his theories and methods, at Burg- 
dorf, he says: "The sentences, descriptive of walking, 
standing, lying, singing, etc., which I gave the children 
to learn, led Kriisi to see the connection between the 
beginnings of my instruction and the purpose at which 
I was aiming, viz.^ to produce a general clearness in 
the mind on all subjects. He soon felt that if the 
children are made to describe in this manner things 
which are so clear to them that experience cannot 
render them any clearer, they must thereby be checked 
in the presumption of describing things of which they 
have no knowledge ; and at the same time they must 
acquire the power of describing whatever they do know, 
to a degree which will enable them to give concise, 
definite and comprehensive descriptions of whatever 
falls under their observation " {How Gertrude Teaches). 

M. Soyaux refers to the simultaneous method in his 
account of his visit to Yverdon. He says : *' They do 
not answer one at a time, according as they are able or 
not, but all who can answer call out together. This 
may have its advantages ; but the shouting, in which 
the children take great delight, ought not to be per- 
mitted. I have sometimes actually been driven out of 
the room by the deafening noise which was made when 
several classes recited at the same time. The severe 
exhaustion which follows is certainly not good for the 
voice : the ear gets used to loud noises, and in the end 
the boy gets into the habit of shouting at all times." 


Mutual Instruction. From the very first Pestalozzi 
appears to have believed in the instruction of children 
by children, although he seems very clearly to realise 
that limitations are necessary. Thus, in speaking of 
Gertrude's children, he says: "All that they learnt 
they knew so thoroughly that they were able to teach 
it to others ; and they often asked to be allowed to 
teach younger children — this they were allowed to do. 
Thus one would see a boy with each arm around the 
neck of a smaller boy, while he made them say, after 
him, the syllables from the ABC book ; or a girl would 
place herself and her wheel between two of the younger 
girls and teach them, with the greatest patience, the 
words of a hymn " (Leonard and Gertrude). 

When he was at Stanz, he put into practice his plan 
of mutual instruction. '' The number and inequality 
of my children rendered my task easier. Just as in a 
family the eldest and cleverest child readily shows what 
he knows to his younger brothers and sisters, and feels 
proud and happy to be able to take his mother's place 
for a moment, so my children were delighted when they 
knew something they could teach others. A sentiment 
of honour awoke in them, and they learned twice as 
well by making the younger ones repeat their work. 
In this way I soon had helpers and collaborators 
amongst the children themselves. 

" When I was teaching them to spell difficult words by 
heart, I used to allow any child who succeeded in say- 
ing one properly to teach it to the others. These child- 
helpers, whom I had formed from the very outset, and 
who had followed my method step by step, were certainly 
much more useful to me than any regular schoolmaster 
could have been. I myself learned with the children, . , , 


"Children became the teachers of children. They 
endeavoured to carry into effect what I proposed, and 
in doing so they themselves frequently traced the means 
of execution. ... To this also I was brought chiefly by 
necessity. Seeing that I had no assistant-teachers, I 
placed a child of superior capacities between two of 
inferior powers. He threw his arms round their necks ; 
he taught them what he knew, and they learned from 
him what they knew not. They sat by the side of each 
other with heart-felt affection. Joy and love animated 
their souls ; the life which was awakened within them, 
and which had taken hold of their minds, carried both 
teachers and learners forward with a rapidity and cheer- 
fulness which this process of mutual enlivening alone 
could produce." Pestalozzi had expected to have proper 
assistants. In a letter to Dr. Rengger he writes : "I 
am waiting impatiently for letters from Zurich on the 
subject of the assistants of both sexes of whom I stand 
in need ". 

Staff Conferences, etc. In the report by the Com- 
missioners who inspected the institute at Yverdon an 
account is given of its government. " Each depart- 
ment of instruction has a certain number of professors, 
every one of whom takes a certain part of the work, and 
takes up the thread where his predecessor dropped it. 
These professors form a special committee, which meets 
once a week for an interchange of experiences and 
opinions which have resulted from their teaching, so 
that all may benefit thereby, and the teaching as a 
whole profit. Besides the teaching department there 
are two others : one for discipline and the other for 
religion. The masters in charge of the one collect 
the reports of the masters who have done supervision 


duty, and decide on the question of the breaking of 
rules. The masters responsible for the other, which is 
considered higher and more important, watch over the 
moral and religious conduct of the pupils; and they 
take into consideration the characters of the pupils, 
their vices and bad habits, and the means to prevent or 
remove these. 

** Pestalozzi is present at the meetings of these com- 
mittees, and is the guiding spirit and soul of them. At 
the end of each week there is a joint meeting, the reso- 
lutions of which have the force of law. There is no 
respect of persons at these meetings : each one has the 
influence which his knowledge, work, and the confidence 
with which he inspires his colleagues, gives him. Who- 
ever has anything to bring forward, has the right to be 
heard. The head himself is so little jealous of the pre- 
dominance which is due to him by right of his char- 
acter, age and fame, that on ceremonious occasions, if 
he takes part in them at all, he deputes to one of his 
friends the duty of presiding over the assembly. 

''The Board of Management has an office, the 
members of which have a heavy task. The work is 
twofold : one part literary and scientific ; the other cler- 
ical, i.e.f the correspondence with pupils' parents. The 
latter keeps registers, in which detailed reports of the 
progress and character of each child are recorded, and 
extracts from these are afterwards sent home to the 
children's families. The literary side corresponds with 
foreign teachers and the public: edits the periodicals 
which are printed in Switzerland and Germany, and 
inserts articles in learned reviews. Pestalozzi presides 
over this extensive work and shares with his colleague^ 
a task which he could not manage alone/' 


Dr. Biber also gives us an account of the staff con- 
ferences. He says : '' Every teacher in his turn was 
called upon to give an account of the manner in which 
he proceeded in his lessons, and of the children who 
were placed under his instruction, or his superintend- 
ence. He was encouraged in freely communicating his 
observations, stating his difficulties, and offering his 
suggestions ; he had to expect from Pestalozzi and 
from his brother teachers nothing but cordial assent 
when he was in the right, and kind advice, or gentle 
reproof, when he was in the wrong. It was in these 
assemblies that the younger teachers learned, by the 
manner in which they themselves were treated by the 
elder members of the establishment, the difficult art of 
living on an equality with those that were in a certain 
sense their inferiors, without descending to a level with 
them, and of admitting them to a familiarity which 
bred no contempt. 

" The remarks of each, together with the resolutions 
to which they led, were put down in a minute-book, 
which, while it formed the basis of an open and candid 
correspondence with the parents, served as a useful 
reference for any teacher who might wish for informa- 
tion on some particular branch of the method, or con- 
cerning some one or other of the pupils. The effect of 
these constant communications on every subject con- 
nected with their daily duties, could be no other than 
to produce a kind of unity of feeling, of thought and 
action among all the teachers of the establishment. 
They were not left to first impressions, to erroneous 
and prejudiced views ; they could not for any length of 
time overrate or underrate the abilities, acquirements, 
or moral deserts of any of the children, 


''The experience of one man threw light upon that 
of the other ; one trait, one fact, explained the other ; 
and much of the injustice of which a single teacher will 
often, though ever so unwillingly, become guilty, was 
prevented by the full picture which was drawn, by all 
in common, of the state of mind of each pupil ; not to 
mention the rich store of general knowledge of human 
nature, which these conversations must have been the 
means of eliciting from, and impressing upon, the 
minds of all present. 

" Another assembly of the teachers took place on 
Saturday evenings, for the purpose of collecting what- 
ever observations might have been made by each, indi- 
vidually, during the course of the week, on matters of 
general discipline, order, etc. Defects in the manage- 
ment of the house, mistakes on the parts of teachers, 
and misdemeanours on the parts of pupils, were here 
brought under discussion. The result of these delibera- 
tions, likewise, were put on record, and in a general 
assembly of teachers and pupils, held on Sunday even- 
ings, such points as referred to the past or future con- 
duct of the latter, were introduced, and their attention 
directed towards the means of remedying existing evils, 
or of attaining any object that was found desirable. 

" On all these occasions Pestalozzi's personal presence 
imparted life and interest to the whole ; while such 
subjects as were not fit for public discussion, were 
settled by him in private interviews with the parties 
concerned. Every teacher had at all times free access 
to him, and he made a point of conferring with each of 
them separately from time to time, on the duties which 
devolved upon him, and the impediments by which his 
progress might be obstructed." 



Time=TabIe. At Burgdorf there was considerable 
freedom as to times and lessons, though there seems 
also to have been a standing arrangement which was 
observed unless the teacher felt inclined to do otherwise. 
That there was a definite time-table at Yverdon appears 
certain from the fact that Froebel in the account of his 
visit says: ''I saw the whole training of a great edu- 
cational institution, work upon a clear and firmly settled 
plan of teaching. I still possess the ' teaching-plan ' of 
Pestalozzi's institution in use at that time. 

''This teaching-plan contains, in my opinion, much 
that is excellent. . . . Excellent, I thought, was the con- 
trivance of the so-called ' circulating classes ' [wandernde 
classen]. In each subject the instruction was always 
taken at the same time throughout the entire establish- 
ment. Thus the subject for teaching was fixed for 
every class ; but the pupils were scattered amongst the 
different classes according to their proficiency in the 
subject being taught, so that the entire school was 
redistributed in quite a distinct rearrangement for each 

''The advantage of this contrivance struck me as 
so obvious and so efficient that I have never since de- 
parted from it in my educational work, nor could I now 
bring myself to do so." 

The hours for lessons, at Yverdon, were (i) from 
6 till 7 ; (2) 8 till I2 ; (3) 1.30 till 4.30 ; and (4) 6 till 8. 
Five to seven minutes for recreation were allowed be- 
tween every two hours, in the morning (8 till 12). The 
longer intervals for recreation were from 12 till i, and 
from 4.30 till 5 (when fruit and bread were distributed). 

School Punishments. In Leonard and Gertrude it is 
urged that strict order and punctuality must be observed 


in school, for this would train for life. School must be^in 
on the stroke of the clock, and no one must be allowed 
to come late. The children must come clean in person 
and clothing, and with their hair combed. The body 
must be kept erect when the child is standing, sitting, 
writing or working (spinning, etc.). The schoolroom 
must be perfectly clean : no broken windows : and no 
nails driven crookedly into the floor. Nothing must be 
thrown upon the floor : children must not eat during 
lessons : in getting up and sitting down they must not 
push against each other. 

At the close of school those children who had done 
well during the day went up to the master and said : 
" God be with you ! " He held out his hand and 
replied: "God be with you, my dear child!" Next 
went those who had only done fairly well, and to these 
he said only: "God be with you!" without giving 
them his hand. Those who had done badly had to 
leave the room without going up to the master, or re- 
ceiving a word of farewell from him. Punishments 
were made to fit the crime: an idle child had to cut 
fire-wood, etc. ; a forgetful child had to be messenger 
for several days ; disobedient and impertinent children 
were not spoken to in public, for a number of days, but 
only in private after school ; wickedness and lying were 
punished by the rod, and the culprit's name was entered 
in a special book, and not erased until real amendment 
had been shown. The master treated the children, 
otherwise, with all kindness : talked with them more 
than at any other time : and tried to help them to over- 
come their failings. 

While it was necessary to be very strict, love should 
thus be used in conjunction with fear, for only so would 



pvipils learn to root out evil habits — which they never 
do of their own accord, but only under compulsion, and 
because of good training. 

Among other ways of getting order this was used: 
" Silence, as an aid to application, is perhaps the 
great secret of such an institution [at Stanz]. I 
found it very useful to insist on silence when I was 
teaching, and also to pay particular attention to the 
attitude of my children. The result was that the 
moment I asked for silence, I could teach in quite a 
low voice. The children repeated my words alto- 
gether ; and as there was no other sound, I was able 
to detect the slightest mistakes of pronunciation. It 
is true that this was not always so. Sometimes, whilst 
they repeated sentences after me, I would ask them, 
half in fun, to keep their eyes fixed on their middle 
fingers. It is hardly credible how useful simple things 
of this sort sometimes are as means to the very highest 
ends. . . . 

" When the children were obdurate and churlish, then 
I was severe, and made use of corporal punishment. 
. . . My punishments never produced obstinacy; the 
children I had beaten were quite satisfied if a moment 
afterwards I gave them my hand and kissed them, and 
I could read in their eyes that the final effect of my 
blows was really joy. The following is a striking 
example of the effect this sort of punishment sometimes 
had. One day one of the children I liked best, taking 
advantage of my affection, unjustly threatened one of 
his companions. I was very indignant, and my hand 
did not spare him. He seemed at first almost broken- 
hearted, and cried bitterly for at least a quarter of an 
hour. When I had gone out, however, he got up, and 


going to the boy he had ill-treated, begged his pardon, 
and thanked him for having spoken about his bad con- 
duct. This was no comedy; the child had never seen 
anything like it before. . . . 

" I knew no other order, method, or art, but that 
which resulted naturally from my children's conviction 
of my love for them, nor did I care to know any other. 
Thus I subordinated the instruction of my children to a 
higher aim, which was to arouse and strengthen their 
best sentiments by the relations of every-day life as they 
existed between themselves and me." 

Pestalozzi's views on corporal punishment were very 
clear and definite. In his On the. Idea of Elementary 
Education he lays it down that it is quite a mistake to 
suppose that we can overcome the desires of the flesh 
by simply talking to children. Neither are we likely to 
be able always to bend the child's will to our own view 
of what is best by mere words. Corporal punishment 
will, in the last resource, be found to be necessary. It 
is much more likely to be our weakness than our sense 
of delicacy which persuades us that it is coarse and re- 
pulsive to use blows. If we had confidence in our judg- 
ment of what was necessary and right, and in our love 
for the child in deciding this, we should not hesitate. 
Because we cannot trust our love for the child, or the 
child's confidence in our love for him, when we use 
severe measures for his good, we think that our motives 
will be misunderstood. It requires a real strength of 
affection to chastise in love: it is weakness of love 
which causes us to shrink from needful severity. 

In the same work, and when discussing the question 
of religious training, he says that it is good for the 
child, even at an early age, to fear eternal punishment 


as he fears his mother's rod ; and this so that the fear 
of the lesser evil may help to save him from the greater. 
He uses this parable in support of his viev^: *' If the 
mother sees her child on the banks of a stream, across 
vy^hich there is a dangerous plank, she says : * Do not 
cross ! ' Should he try to cross, and thus be in danger 
of drowning, she rushes to the treacherous plank and, 
pale and trembling, snatches him from peril. Again 
she warns him, with urgent emphasis : * Do not go on 
the plank, for you may drown yourself! ' When she 
gets him in doors she shows him the rod, saying, ' If you 
go there again, I shall whip you ! ' If, nevertheless, he 
does again try to cross the plank, she whips him ; and 
then he never again ventures there, but still he loves 
his mother as before." 

In Leonard and Gertrude a mother thus speaks to her 
child who has been gossiping, after repeated warnings 
not to do it : '* ' You have been told, once for all, that 
you are not to talk of anything that is no business of 
yours ; but it is all in vain. There is no getting you 
out of this habit, except by severe means ; and the very 
first time that I catch you again in any such idle gossip, 
I shall take to the rod.' 

" The tears burst from poor Betty's eyes when her 
mother mentioned the rod. The mother saw it and 
said to her : * The greatest mischief, Betty, often arises 
out of idle gossip, and you must be cured of that fault '." 

A want of thoroughness and carefulness in work, so 
far as the child was really capable of these, was regarded 
as a fault to be cured. " I always made the children 
learn perfectly even the least important things, and I 
never allowed them to lose ground ; a word once learnt, 
for instance, was never to be forgotten, and a letter 


once well written never to be written badly again. I 
was very patient with all who were weak and slow, but 
very severe with those who did anything less well than 
they had done it before." 

Ramsauer, describing his own experiences as a pupil 
at the institution in Burgdorf, says : " Although Pesta- 
lozzi at all times strictly prohibited his assistants from 
using any kind of corporal punishment, yet he by no 
means dispensed with it himself, but very often dealt out 
boxes on the ears right and left. But most of the scholars 
rendered his life very unhappy ; so much so that I felt 
a real sympathy for him, and kept myself all the more 

M. Soyaux, of Berlin, who visited the institute at 
Yverdon, says : *' As to discipline, the guiding principle 
is to allow the greatest possible liberty to the children, 
only trying to prevent abuses. In no case does the 
restrictive side of a rule predominate. Masters and 
pupils are as easy and natural in their manner as the 
lonely mountain-dwellers. They know nothing of the 
refinements of polite society, of polished phrases, or 
of high etiquette. . . . While, however, enjoying com- 
plete liberty they keep within certain reasonable limits ; 
obstinacy, bullying, quarrelsomeness, etc., are extremely 
unusual among them. . . . The masters never think of 
enforcing their authority by commands or reproofs. . . . 

" The children are, indeed, under too little restraint. 
There are, in effect, hardly any rules at all. During 
lessons they sit or stand as they feel inclined, and 
wherever they choose. . . . Naturally, owing to their 
youthful vivacity, they are more like a mob of people 
pushing and shoving to get the best places rather than 
a class of pupils who desire to learn, among whom 


there should be proper order, if such an end is to be 

De Guimps tells us that : " Three times a week the 
masters rendered an account to Pestalozzi of the pupils' 
work and behaviour. The latter were summoned by 
the old man, five or six at a time, to receive his exhor- 
tations or remonstrances. He would take them one by 
one into a corner of his room, and ask them in a low 
voice if they had something to tell him, or to ask him. 
He tried in this way to gain their confidence, to find 
out if they were happy, what pleased them, or what 
troubled them." 

Pestalozzi trained his pupils, as far as was possible, 
in methods of self-government. He says: *' I appealed 
to them in all matters that concerned the establishment. 
It was generally in the quiet evening hours that I ap- 
pealed to their free judgment. When, for example, it 
was reported in the village that they had not enough to. 
eat, I said to them, * Tell me, my children, if you are 
not better fed than you were at home ? . . . Do you 
lack anything that is really necessary ? Do you think 
I could reasonably and justly do more for you ? ' . . . 
In the same way, when I heard that it was reported 
that I punished them too severely, I said to them : 
* You know how I love you, my children ; but tell me, 
would you like me to stop punishing you ? Do you 
think that in any other way I can free you from your 
deeply rooted bad habits, or make you always mind 
what I say ? ' You were there, my friend [Gessner], and 
saw with you own eyes the sincere emotion with which 
they answered, * We do not complain of your treatment. 
Would that we never deserved punishment; but when 
we do, we are willing to bear it.' . . . 


" I shall never forget the impression that my words 
produced, when in speaking of a certain disturbance 
that had taken place amongst them, I said, ' My 
children, it is the same with us as with every other 
household ; when the children are numerous, and each 
gives way to his bad habits, such disorder follows that 
even the weakest mother is obliged to be reasonable, 
and make them submit to what is just and right. And 
that is what I must do now. If you do not willingly 
assist in the maintenance of order, our establishment 
cannot go on, you will fall back into your former con- 
dition, and your misery — now that you have been ac- 
customed to a good home, clean clothes, and regular 
food — will be greater than ever." 

But Pestalozzi was not less clear and definite in the 
conviction that to do without corporal punishment is 
the better way, and the end for which to strive. In 
his letter about Stanz he says: " The pedagogical prin- 
ciple which says we must win the hearts and minds of 
our children by words alone without having recourse 
to corporal punishment, is undoubtedly good, and to be 
applied under favourable conditions and circumstances. 
But with children with such widely different ages as 
mine ; children for the most part beggars ; and all full 
of deeply rooted faults ; a certain amount of corporal 
punishment was inevitable, especially as I was anxious 
to arrive surely, quickly, and by the simplest means, at 
obtaining an influence over them all, to the end that I 
might put them all on the right road. 

'* I was compelled to punish them, but it would be a 
mistake to suppose that I thereby, in any way, lost the 
confidence of my pupils. It is not the rare and isolated 
actions that form the opinions and feelings of children, 


but the impressions of every day and every hour. From 
such impressions they judge w^hether we are kindly 
disposed to them or not, and this decides their general 
attitude tow^ards us." 

Again he writes : " I have urged the supreme char- 
acter of the motive of sympathy as the one that should 
early, and indeed principally, be employed in the 
management of children " (On Infants Education). 



To know something about the manner in which Pesta- 
lozzi himself taught is, to say the least of it, a very 
interesting matter to those who understand and believe 
in his great educational principles. But we must not 
expect to find in him the perfect pedagogue any more 
than the perfect pedagogist. M. Fischer, who knew 
him well, and loved him, said : " Pestalozzi under- 
stands that he is lacking in much positive knowledge 
and in practical skill in using his machinery ". 

First let us note Pestalozzi's own accounts of his 
actual work as a practical teacher. Writing of his work 
in the orphan-school at Stanz, he says : " I had Gedicke's 
reading-book, but it was of no more use to me than any 
other school-book ; for I felt that, with all these children 
of such different ages, I had an admirable opportunity 
for carrying out my own views on early education. I 
was well aware, too, how impossible it would be to 
organise my teaching according to the ordinary system 
in use in the best schools. As a general rule I attached 
little importance to the study of words, even when ex- 
planations of the ideas they represented were given. 
I tried to connect study with manual labour, the school 
with the workshop, and make one thing of them. But 

I was the less able to do this as staff, material and 



tools were all wanting. A short time only before the 
close of the establishment, a few children had begun to 
spin ; and I saw clearly that, before any fusion could 
be effected, the two parts must be firmly established 
separately — study, that is, on the one hand, and labour 
on the other. . . . 

*' I made them spell by heart before teaching them 
their ABC, and the whole class could thus spell the 
hardest words without knowing their letters. It will 
be evident to everybody how great a call this made on 
their attention. I followed at first the order of words 
in Gedicke's book, but I soon found it more useful to 
join the five vowels successively to the different con- 
sonants, and so form a well-graduated series of syllables 
leading from the simple to the compound. I had gone 
rapidly through the scraps of geography and natural 
history in Gedicke's book. Before knowing their letters 
even, they could say properly the names of the different 
countries. In natural history they were very quick in 
corroborating what I taught them by their own personal 
observations on plants and animals." 

In describing his experiences at Burgdorf, he gives 
us a still farther insight into his practical methods. He 
writes: "I once more began crying my ABC from 
morning till night, following without any plan the em- 
pirical method interrupted at Stanz. I was indefatig- 
able in putting syllables together and arranging them in 
a graduated series ; I did the same for numbers ; I filled 
whole note-books with them ; I sought by every means 
to simplify the elements of reading and arithmetic, and 
by grouping them psychologically, enable the child to 
pass easily and surely from the first step to the second, 
from the second to the third, and so on. The pupils no 


longer drew letters on their slates, but lines, curves, 
angles and squares." 

In How Gertrude Teaches Pestalozzi again refers to 
his experiences, and says : " Being obliged to instruct 
the children by myself, without any assistance, I learned 
the art of teaching a great number together; and as I 
had no other means of bringing the instruction before 
them, than that of pronouncing everything to them 
loudly and distinctly, I was naturally led to the idea 
of making them draw, write, or work, at the same 
time. The confusion of so many voices repeating my 
words suggested the necessity of keeping time in our 
exercises, and I soon found that this contributed 
materially to make their impressions stronger and 
more distinct." 

So far we have had Pestalozzi speaking about himself, 
now we will see what others say about him, on the 
same points. Baron de Guimps, in his biography of 
Pestalozzi, when giving an account of the work at 
Stanz — an account which, he asserts, is wholly based 
on official documents — says : '* Visitors to the establish- 
ment often saw nothing but disorder and confusion, 
with an entire absence, as it seemed, of all serious 
instruction ". M. Zschokke, the Government Agent at 
Stanz during Pestalozzi's time there, in his History of 
the Memorable Facts of the Swiss Revolution — published in 
1804 — says of the school, after Pestalozzi left it: " The 
orphans, however, were still carefully taught, and such 
matters as order and cleanliness, which had previously 
been neglected, received particular attention ". M. Buss, 
one of Pestalozzi's first assistants, speaking of his first 
meeting with Pestalozzi, says : " The following morning 
I entered his school : and, at first, I confess I saw in it 


nothing but apparent disorder, and an uncomfortable 

The fullest sketch of Pestalozzi's proceedings in class 
is given by his pupil Ramsauer. In reading this it 
should be remembered that the events happened when 
Ramsauer was about ten years of age and were described 
thirty-eight years later. At the same time it should not 
be forgotten that he was so long and so intimately con- 
nected with Pestalozzi and his work that he is not very 
likely to have exaggerated or misrepresented matters 
much. This is his account : *' So far as ordinary school 
knowledge was concerned, neither I nor the other boys 
learned anything. But his zeal, love and unselfishness, 
combined with his painful and serious position, evident 
even to the children, made a most profound impression 
upon me, and won my child's heart, naturally disposed 
to be grateful, for ever. . . . 

'* It is impossible to draw a clear and complete 
picture of this school, but here are a few details. Ac- 
cording to the ideas of Pestalozzi, all teaching was to 
start from three elements: language, number and form. 
He had no plan of studies and no order of lessons, and 
as he did not limit himself to any fixed time, he often 
followed the same subject for two or three hours to- 
gether. We were about sixty boys and girls, from 
eight to fifteen years old. Our lessons lasted from 
eight till eleven in the morning, and from two till four 
in the afternoon. All the teaching was limited to draw- 
ing, arithmetic, and exercises in language. We neither 
read nor wrote ; we had neither books nor copy-books ; 
we learned nothing by heart. 

" For drawing we were given neither models nor 
directions ; only slates and red chalk, and while Pesta- 


lozzi was making us repeat sentences on natural history 
as an exercise in language, we had to draw just what 
we Hked. But we did not know what to draw. Some 
of us drew little men and women, others houses, others 
lines or arabesques, according to their fancy. Pesta- 
lozzi never looked at what we had drawn, or rather 
scribbled, but from the state of our clothes it was pretty 
evident that we had been using red chalk. For arith- 
metic we had little boards divided into squares, in 
which were dots that we had to count, add, subtract, 
multiply and divide. It was from this that Kriisi and 
Buss first took the idea of their ' table of units,' and 
afterwards of their * table of fractions '. But as Pesta- 
lozzi did nothing but make us repeat these exercises 
one after another, without asking us any questions, 
this process, excellent as it was, never did us very much 

" Our master never had the patience to go back, and, 
carried away by his excessive zeal, he paid little atten- 
tion to each individual scholar. The language exercises 
were the best thing we had, especially those on the 
wall-paper of the schoolroom, which were real practices 
in sense-impression. We spent hours before this old 
and torn paper, occupied in examining the number, 
form, position and colour of the different designs, holes 
and rents, and expressing our ideas in more and more 
enlarged sentences. Thus he would ask : ' Boys, what 
do you see ? ' He never addressed the girls. 

'' Answer. * A hole in the paper.' 

" Pestalozzi. ' Very well,.say after me : I see a hole in 
the paper. I see a long hole in the paper. Through 
the hole I see the wall. Through the long narrow hole 
I see the wall. I see figures on the paper. I see 


black figures on the paper. I see a square yellow figure 
on the paper. By the side of the square yellow figure 
I see a round black one. The square figure is joined 
to the round figure by a large black stroke ' — and so on. 

" Of less utility were those exercises in language 
which he took from natural history, and in which we 
had to repeat after him, and at the same time to draw, 
as I have already mentioned. He would say : Amphi- 
bious animals : crawling amphibious animals ; creeping 
amphibious animals. Monkeys : long-tailed monkeys ; 
short-tailed monkeys — and so on. 

" We did not understand a word of this, for not a 
word was explained, and it was all spoken in such a 
sing-song tone, and so rapidly and indistinctly, that it 
would have been a wonder if any one had understood 
anything from it ; besides, Pestalozzi cried out so dread- 
fully loudly and so continuously, that he could not hear 
us repeat after him, the less so as he never waited 
for us when he had read out a sentence, but went on 
without intermission, and read off a whole page at 
once. What he thus read out was drawn up on a 
half-sheet of large-sized millboard, and our repetition 
consisted for the most part in saying the last word or 
syllable of each phrase, thus ' monkeys — monkeys,' or 
* keys — keys '. There was never any questioning or 

*' As Pestalozzi, in his zeal, did not take any notice 
of the time, we generally went on till eleven o'clock 
with whatever he had commenced at eight, and by ten 
o'clock he was always tired and hoarse. We knew 
when it was eleven by the noise of other school-children 
in the street, and then usually we all ran out, without 
asking permission. ... 


" I must further say that in the first years of the 
Burgdorf institute, nothing like a systematic plan of 
lessons was followed, and that the whole life of the 
place was so simple and home-like, that in the half- 
hour's recreation which followed breakfast, Pestaloz^i 
would often become so interested in the spirited games 
of the children in the playground as to allow them to 
go on undisturbed till ten o'clock. And on summer 
evenings, after bathing in the Emme, instead of be- 
ginning work again, we often stayed out till eight or 
nine o'clock looking for plants and minerals." 

The commission appointed by the " Society of the 
Friends of Education " to report on Pestalozzi's work at 
Burgdorf, mentions that singing and walking often took 
the place of the regular lessons. M. Stapfer states that 
Pestalozzi's personal neglect and his strange ways de- 
stroyed his authority so that he lost control of his pupils, 
and the prefect Schnell had to go to his assistance. 

Raumer, speaking of his stay at Yverdon, says : " If 
I wanted to do any work for myself, I had to do it while 
standing at a writing-desk in the midst of the tumult of 
one of the classes ". 

Karl Ritter said : " Pestalozzi himself is unable to 
apply his own method in any of the simplest subjects of 
instruction. He is quick in grasping principles, but is 
helpless in matters of detail ; he possesses the faculty, 
however, of putting his views with such force and clear- 
ness that he has no difficulty in getting them carried 
out." This is, however, a description of Pestalozzi at 
Yverdon, when, it must be remembered, he had given 
up actual teaching, and where most of the matter 
taught was on a very much higher level than he had 
himself ever attempted. 



Kriisi thus describes Pestalozzi's manner in teaching : 
'* He had, I was going to say, almost brazen lungs, and 
any one who had not such would have to abandon all 
idea of speaking, or rather shouting, incessantly as he 
did. Even if I had had such lungs myself, I should 
often have desired that he and his pupils, when reciting 
or answering in class, might have used more modera- 
tion and lowered their voices. . . . He endeavoured to 
teach two subjects to a class at the same time ; he tried 
in particular to combine exercises in speaking with free- 
hand drawing and writing." 



The intelligent student of the science of education 
who does not know more than Pestalozzi — and this 
chiefly because of what Pestalozzi's life and work have 
done for education — about some of the principles and 
practice of education has not yet mastered the outlines 
of his study. The advance in psychology — there was 
no psychology, in the modern sense, in Pestalozzi's 
time — alone has been so great that our knowledge of 
educational ways and means is very much in advance 
of what was possible in Pestalozzi's time ; and the 
progress in practical methods has, in the case of the 
most intelligent educators, been very considerable. But 
while we reverently, but unflinchingly, sit in judgment 
on that to which no higher compliment can be paid 
than to feel that it merits our efforts to remove all that 
may obscure the pure light of its great truths, let us never 
forget that we do but brush the dust from the shoes of a 
master — one whose shoe-latchets we may not be worthy 
to unloose. After we have done this, let us, as it were, 
once more stand back and respectfully take a full view 
of the whole man ; and then shall we again feel that we 
must " praise noble men and the fathers that begat us ". 
The folly of the wise is often greater than the wisdom 
of others : and we are not holy because we can see 
faults in a saint, 

291 19 * 


Nor need we fear to undertake such a task in such a 
spirit, for men like Pestalozzi are not only worthy of 
this tribute from their disciples, but they themselves 
desire it. They are concerned to teach what is true, 
and to help their pupils to yet higher and fuller truths. 

Thus Pestalozzi writes, in his Swans Song : " And 
so I end my dying strain with the words with which I 
began it : Prove all things and hold fast that which is 
good ! If anything better has ripened in you, add it in 
truth and love to what in truth and love I have en- 
deavoured to give to you in these pages. . . . Such as 
it is, give it an attentive examination, and whenever 
you yourself light upon a truth which you think likely 
to benefit humanity, do what you can for it, not so 
much for my sake as for that of the end I have in view. 
I ask nothing better than to be put on one side, and re- 
placed by others, in all matters that others understand 
better than I do ; so that they may be enabled to serve 
mankind better than I have ever been able to do." 
He also speaks of himself as " a man who wishes that 
others may take up what he has commenced, and suc- 
ceed where he may have failed " (On Infants^ Education). 

The Simultaneous Oral Method. Raumer had a 
discussion (at Yverdon) with Pestalozzi on this matter, 
in which he very acutely criticised the method. Pesta- 
lozzi had urged Raumer to teach mineralogy at the 
institute, and Raumer replied : " If I do so, I must 
entirely depart from the methods of instruction pursued 
in the institution. Why so ? asked Pestalozzi. Ac- 
cording to that method, I replied, I should have to do 
nothing but hold up before the boys one specimen after 
another, to give the name of each, for example: 'That 
js ch^lk,' and thereupon to make the class repeat in 


unison three times : ' That is chalk '. It was thought 
that in this way observation of actual objects and in- 
struction in language were provided for at the same 

" I endeavoured to explain that such a mode of 
instruction made a mere show, giving the children 
words before they had formed an idea of the images of 
the minerals ; that moreover the process of perception 
and conception was only disturbed by the talking of the 
teacher and the repetition of the scholars, and was 
therefore best done in silence. On Pestalozzi's oppos- 
ing this view, I asked him why children are born 
speechless, and do not begin to learn to speak until 
they are about three years old ; why we should in vain 
hold a light before a child eight days old, and say 
* light ' three times, or even a hundred times, as the 
child would certainly not try to repeat the word ; 
whether this was not an indication to us, from a higher 
hand, that time is necessary for the external perception 
of the senses to become internally appropriated, so that 
the word shall only come forth as the matured fruit of 
the inward conception, now fully formed. What I said 
about the silence of children struck Pestalozzi." 

Dr. Biber also has a shrewd and suggestive criticism 
on this subject. He says that the use of simultaneous 
work in education ''depends entirely on the stage of 
development which the children have attained. With 
such as have grown up in a condition almost savage, 
or worse than savage, and who are for the first time 
brought together under an influence intended for their 
improvement, the lowest degree of simultaneous action 
is calculated to arouse the soul from that selfish indo- 
lence in which it loves nothing, and observes nothing, 


but self; and disturbs everything around it, not from a 
wish to do so, but from an exclusive tendency to follow 
self, and from an entire inattention to the fact that there 
exists anything but itself." 

Without entering into details we may suggest some 
points which arise in the consideration of this method : 
(i) How far does it enable a few to lead, and all the 
others to follow mechanically — compare the case of 
members of a choir who cannot sing a simple tune 
directly from the score, but can manage quite difficult 
pieces when accompanied by piano, organ, or orchestra ; 

(2) how far is the effect likely to be almost wholly aural, 
i.e., the ear-memory is chiefly, if not wholly, cultivated ; 

(3) how far is the sound, or the sentence, likely to be 
corrupted and misunderstood in the mixture of voices ; 

(4) how far is the teacher likely to be able to tell 
whether an individual is really, partly, or wrongly doing 
what is expected; (5) how far is the method likely to 
discourage initiative, self-activity and self-dependence ; 
(6) how far can a method which demands so much uni- 
formity meet, to any reasonable extent, the diversity of 
quickness, intelligence, knowledge and ability v/hich 
must exist even in the most homogeneous class; (7) 
how far are the possible, and actual, results of such a 
method — muscular-memory, nerve-memory, etc. — worth 
the time and trouble taken, in a system of true educa- 
tion ; (8) would not these results be necessarily produced 
by the truly educational method, and, therefore, more 
surely and soundly ; (9) how far does it interfere with, or 
prevent, the intuitive activity which Pestalozzi regards 
as the essential of all true education. 

Mutual Instruction. Several references have already 
been made to the fact that Pestalozzi set children to 


teach other children. Some used this as an argument 
in favour of Bell's and Lancaster's monitorial system. 
It is, however, clear that there is a great difference 
between the two, e.g., Pestalozzi used one child to teach 
one other child — or two other children — whilst Bell and 
Lancaster used one child to teach a group of other 
children ; and Pestalozzi made use of a child who had 
been developed by his teaching until it had an in- 
telligent mastery of whatever it was allowed to show to 
others, whilst Bell and Lancaster simply drilled their 
monitors in certain matter and method, and then set 
them to drill groups of other children in the same matter 
and by the same method. 

It is interesting to note what Pestalozzi and Dr. Bell 
thought of each other's system. In 1815 the latter 
visited the institute at Yverdon, and at the end of his 
visit remarked to the interpreter (Ackermann, a former 
pupil with Pestalozzi) who accompanied him : " In 
another twelve years mutual instruction will be adopted 
by the whole world, and Pestalozzi's method will be 
forgotten ". A few days afterwards a casual visitor 
said to Pestalozzi : "It is you, sir, I believe, who in- 
vented mutual instruction ? " *' God forbid ! " answered 

We suggest the following points for consideration : 
(i) Will the brightest or the dullest children receive 
such instruction ; (2) if the dullest, do they need the 
most, or least, skilful educator; (3) is even a bright 
child the best, or a good, agent for securing what Pesta- 
lozzi meant when he said, " I want to psychologise 
education " ; (4) is telling (or showing) the same thing, 
in method and eifect, as teaching ; (5) does, or can, one 
child consciously realise, understand and diagnose the 


weaknesses and difficulties of another child, and provide 
for and solve them educationally ; and (6) are the pos- 
sible, and actual, results of the method worth the time 
and trouble taken, in a system of true education. Is 
there any pertinence in the saying : " Can the blind lead 
the blind ? shall they both not fall into the ditch ? " 

Number Teaching. It will be remembered that 
Pestalozzi proceeds to develop ideas of number by con- 
stantly adding one more to the commencing unit. On 
this Dr. Biber remarks: '' Pestalozzi considers number 
only seriatim, and, therefore, considers all arithmetic as 
a mere enlargement or abridgment of the form.ula ' one 
and one are two ' ; overlooking altogether the important 
fact that this formula, which expresses the juxtaposi- 
tion of two objects, presupposes in the mind the idea of 
two. In the same manner its enlargement in ' one and 
one and one are three,' presupposes the idea of three ; 
for this simple reason that it is impossible to conceive 
the operation of putting together, without having an 
idea of that which is to be put together, no more than 
it is possible to conceive the operation of building with- 
out any idea of building materials. 

"The origin of number must not be sought in the 
repetition of units ; because without the previous idea 
of number, the idea of repetition could not exist. . . . 
Whence shall we obtain it ? . . . The answer to this 
question is given in what may appropriately be termed 
the generic power of number, or the power of every 
number [i.e., what is more than one] to produce out of 
itself an indefinite series of numbers." 

This is somewhat obscure, but suggests a sound 
criticism on Pestalozzi's theory, viz., that the basis of 
number is, in its earliest stages, what we may term a 


collective-divisible idea, not an individual-multiple idea. 
As Professor James says: "Number seems to signify 
primarily the strokes of our attention in discriminating 
things. These strokes remain in the memory in groups, 
large or small, and the groups can be compared. The 
discrimination is, as we know, psychologically facilitated 
by the mobility of the thing as a total. But within each 
thing we discriminate parts ; so that the number of the 
things which any one thing may be depends in the last 
instance on our way of taking it. A globe is one, if un- 
divided ; two, if composed of hemispheres. A sand-heap 
is one thing, or twenty thousand things, as we may 
choose to count it. We amuse ourselves by the count- 
ing of mere strokes, to form rhythms, and these we 
compare and name. Little by little in our minds the 
number-series is formed." 

It is the group element of the idea which is, in the 
first instance — and always, for purposes of computation 
— the most important, and helpful, to the learner. The 
thorough grasp of what " three " is, as three, and the 
ready mental recognition of it as part of a larger group 
should be first secured. Its analysis into two and one : 
one and one and one, will, so to say, come of itself. Of 
course the intuition of numbers as groups cannot be 
carried very far, because of visual limitations ; but 
after the collective-divisible phase is exhausted the 
collective-multiple idea can be employed, i.e., a group of 
things in which two fours can be seen is eight, etc. 

Language, form and number, as the fundamental 
elements in all intuitions, is a theory which is open to 
very serious criticisms. Whilst, no doubt, the applica- 
tion of these as channels of information, about such 
intuitions as admit of it, is very helpful ; they cannot 


be applied to all intuitions, and are not essential to 
many, e.g.-, shades of sharpness and flatness in sing- 
ing, etc. (no names), water (no shape), sweetness (no 
number). Yet Pestalozzi asserts " that all our know- 
ledge arises out of number, form and words ". Again, 
he says that '* number, form and name are found uni- 
versally in all objects ". This is seriously wrong, for 
number and name are, so to say, attached to objects 
by ourselves, not found in them ; whilst form only 
belongs to certain physical objects. 

He is self-contradictory in some of his own state- 
ments on the matter. Though he rightly says that 
language *'is the reflex of all the impressions which 
nature's entire domain has made on the human race" ; 
he, nevertheless, goes on to claim for it that it is also 
the origin and source of knowledge : ** I make use of it, 
and endeavour, by the guidance of its uttered sounds, to 
reproduce in the child the self-same impressions which, 
in the human race, have occasioned and formed these 
sounds. Great is the gift of language. It gives to the 
child in one moment what nature required thousands of 
years to give to man." 

A sound cannot possibly do this. It can only recall 
those impressions which objects and experiences have 
made, and which have been voluntary (and arbitrarily) 
associated with certain sounds which we call names. 
We might have called a horse a pimho ; and whatever 
sound we use as its name is only useful to recall the 
impressions which the animal (or its picture, etc.) has 
made upon us. A simple illustration of this will show 
what the facts are : suppose a child to read a list of 
the names of things in a miscellaneous collection in a 
museum, what impressions would be reproduced in him 


by the names which he does not ah'eady know. In 
other words, the sound apart from its association does 
nothing; it is the habitual association of sound with 
percepts and concepts which is the active influence. All 
this is very clearly set out in what Pestalozzi says of 
definitions : " Whenever he [man] is left without the 
greatest clearness of observation of a natural object 
which has been defined to him, he only learns to play 
with words like so many counters, deceives himself, and 
places a blind belief in sounds which will convey to him 
no idea, nor give rise to any other thought, except just 
this, that he has uttered certain sounds". In other 
words, the only impressions reproduced by sounds, as 
such, are impressions already made by sounds, as such. 
Yet, after all, Pestalozzi did a great service to educa- 
tion by insisting upon the importance and value of 
these points of view in the development of clear ideas 
and distinct notions ; he was only wrong in the reasons 
he gave for his views. His own statement of the 
practical purpose of his use of these three points is 
significant. He says that he bases instruction upon 
them " in order to enable children : (i) to view every 
object which falls under their perception as a unit ; 
that is to say, as distinct from all other objects with 
which it seems connected. (2) To make themselves 
acquainted with its form or outline, with its measure 
and its proportions. (3) To designate, as early as 
possible, by descriptive words and names, all the ob- 
jects which have thus come to their knowledge. . . . 
This requires that the means by which those faculties 
[number, form and language] are developed and culti- 
vated, should be brought to the utmost simplicity, and 
to perfect consistency and harmony with each other." 


All this is admirable so far as it goes, and in cases in 
which it can be applied; though it does not justify the 
claims which Pestalozzi made for it. But, as he him- 
self says : ^'my whole manner of life has given me no 
power, or inclination, quickly to work out bright and 
clear ideas on a subject, until, supported by facts it has 
a background in me that gives rise to some self-con- 
fidence. Therefore, to my grave I shall remain in a 
kind of fog about most of my views. . . . While I have 
done very little during my life to reach ideas that can 
be defined with philosophical certainty ; nevertheless, I 
have, in my own way, found a few means to my end, 
which I should not have found by philosophical in- 
quiries — such as I was capable of making — after clear 
ideas on my subject." 

*' Discover everything.'* Ramsauer, speaking of 
Pestalozzi's relations with his staff, says: ''Even in 
our pedagogics, he would not permit us to make use 
of the results of the experience of other times or other 
countries : we were to read nothing, but discover every- 
thing for ourselves. Hence the whole strength of the 
institute was always devoted to experiments." 

Truttman observed the same attitude of mind in 
Pestalozzi, in connection with the work at Stanz. De- 
scribing what he considered the faults of organisation 
and method, he says: "I begged him even to go to 
Zurich, to study in detail the organisation of the poor- 
school in that town, with a view to imitating it, as far 
as possible in Stanz. He accordingly went, but I do 
not expect any satisfactory outcome from his visit, be- 
cause his idea is to do everything for himself, without 
any plan, and without any assistance other than that 
given by the children themselves." 


Now whilst for the student-beginner the discovery 
method of training is of the highest possible value, and 
an indispensable training ; its chief value later on is that 
it enables the learner to take real advantage of other 
men's work and to enter into their labours, without going 
through all the work they had to perform. But for men 
who were engaged in so difficult and delicate a task as 
that of educating the young, and who were themselves 
largely untrained and undisciplined, intellectually, to 
refuse to make use of existing means — if they could 
approve them — was, to say the least of it, unwise. 

Not that there was much of which Pestalozzi could 
approve ; but the attitude of mind was, in itself, wrong ; 
and was likely to cause much waste of time and, per- 
haps, undue self-satisfaction. It will he remembered 
that Pestalozzi — so far did he carry this idea — several 
times boasts that he has not read a book for nearly 
thirty years. One instance will suffice to show the 
mistake of all this : Basedow had endeavoured to carry 
out, at his Philanthropmum school at Dessau, the prin- 
ciples of Rousseau's Entile ; and amidst much that was 
superficial and merely sensational, was doing some good 
work. A study of his work and writings would have 
taught something, of both positive and negative value, 
to the Pestalozzians. 

Criticising this attitude, Raumer writes : "Hence it 
came, as I have already said, that he committed so 
many mistakes usual with self-taught men. He wants 
the historical basis ; things which others had discovered 
long before appear to him to be quite new when thought 
of by himself or any one of his teachers. He also tor- 
ments himself to invent things which had been invented 
and brought to perfection long before, and might have 


been used by him, if he had only known of them. For 
example, how useful an acquaintance with the excellent 
Werner's treatment of the mineralogical characters of 
rocks would have been to him, especially in the defini- 
tion of the ideas, observation, naming, description, etc. 

*' As a self-taught man, he every day collected heaps 
of stones in his walks. If he had been under the dis- 
cipline of the Fribourg School, the observation of a 
single stone would have profited him more than large 
heaps of stones, laboriously brought together, could do, 
in the absence of such discipline. 

"Self-taught men, I say, want the discipline of the 
school. It is not simply that, in the province of the 
intellectual, they often find only after long wanderings 
what they might easily have attained by a direct and 
beaten path : they want also the ethical discipline, 
which restrains us from running according to caprice 
after intellectual enjoyments, and wholesomely compels 
us to deny ourselves and follow the path indicated to 
us by the teacher. 

" Many, it is true, fear that the oracular instinct of 
the self-taught might suffer from the school. But, if 
the school is of the right sort, this instinct, if genuine, 
will be strengthened by it ; deep felt, dreamy and 
passive presentiments are transformed into sound, 
waking and active observation." 

Anybody can teach. Pestalozzi's views on this point 
raises some very serious and important issues. Is all 
our modern zeal for technical education and training a 
mistake : is the man in the street, if he be told how, as 
capable as the well-trained expert who knows both the 
why and the how in a scientific and practical way : is 
the school as the teacher's book, or as the teacher : is 


the final efficiency of the worker to be measured by the 
quality and power of his mind and character, or by 
those of the one who simply gives him instructions to 
be carried out : is the educator a machine minder or a 
mind maker? These are questions which must be 
settled in deciding such a point. 

At the same time there are elements of truth even in 
the extremest view of the statement that any one can 
teach. In the first place, any one with ordinary in- 
teUigence and power can, by careful and thorough 
training, be made into an averagely good teacher. It 
is not necessary to be a "born teacher'* to be a good 
practical teacher. The ''born teacher" — to give the 
phrase real meaning — is one with at least a touch of 
genius for teaching, i.e., he has exceptional native 
capacity and disposition for the work of teaching. Any 
one can play five-finger exercises on the piano satis- 
factorily, if he be not defective in mind or deformed of 
hand ; but one must be born with exceptional powers 
of mind and hand to become a really first-rate pianist, 
— of the type of which such men as Paderewski are the 
supreme examples. 

Further, it is true that, without any training what- 
ever, an intelligent person can follow a course of 
action laid down by another, and that certain results 
will be obtained according as the course itself is sound, 
and the worker carries it out thoroughly and accurately. 
But even material machines go wrong, and the best of 
courses do not fit every possible circumstance. What 
can the person who does not understand the machinery, 
and knows nothing of the system except that he is to 
follow it as laid down, do when either the one or the 
other fails to keep to what is ordinarily expected of 


them ? If this be so of material machinery, how much 
more is it true of living and growing things, and 
especially of so complex and delicate a living organism 
as the human being ? 

Again, it is even true that the exceptionally intelli- 
gent, observant and thoughtful persons will redis- 
cover the principles of education, and do much work 
that is valuable and lasting. But at what cost of 
mistakes, and permanent and serious injuries? So far 
as such a one relies upon himself he is practically cer- 
tain to commit most of the mistakes which have been 
made by the human race in its efforts to work out the 
best system of education. Why should this be done ? 
What should we say of the man who turned his back 
on all existing medical knowledge, and the opportunities 
for medical training, so that he might rediscover the 
truths and principles of the healing arts while practis- 
ing on his patients ? 

Of what a genius — the rarest of exceptions — can do, 
and can not do, without training, we can see in the 
case of Pestalozzi himself. Pestalozzi says : "I could 
neither write, sum, nor read perfectly. . . . [But] I 
could teach writing without being able to write per- 
fectly myself." M. Buss says of Pestalozzi: ''He 
could, unfortunately, neither write nor draw well, 
though he had brought his children, in some, to me, 
inconceivable manner well on in both these subjects ". 
Karl Ritter, the great geographer, pays this high tri- 
bute to Pestalozzi's teaching (or, should we say, inspir- 
ation) : " Pestalozzi knew less geography than a child 
in one of our primary schools ; yet it was from him that 
I obtained my chief ideas on this science, for it was in 
listening to him that I first conceived the idea of the 


natural method. It was he who opened up the way to 
me, and I take pleasure in attributing entirely to him 
whatever value my work may have." 

M. Charles Monnard says that Pestalozzi, when he 
went to Burgdorf to teach, ** would have had no chance 
whatever against even the most ordinary candidates 
[for a post as teacher]. He had everything against 
him : thick, indistinct speech, bad writing, ignorance of 
drawing, scorn of grammatical learning. He had 
studied various branches of natural history, but had 
paid no particular attention either to classification or 
nomenclature. He was acquainted with the ordinary 
numerical calculations, but he would have found it 
difficult to work out a really long sum in multiplication 
or division, and had probably never attempted to solve 
a problem in geometry. For years he had done no 
study, only dreamed. He could not even sing, though, 
when greatly excited or elated, he would hum to him- 
self snatches of poetry ; not, however, with very much 

What Pestalozzi did, in spite of all these drawbacks, 
he did because he was the genius that he was, and not 
because he had received no special training and prepar- 
ation for his work. The roughest diamond is a diamond 
still ; but the cut and polished stone is the best both for 
work and as art. When ordinary stones claim to be 
as diamonds, both danger and disaster will result. 

Other points of view in considering this question may 
be suggested, viz., the efficiency of doctors as compared 
with that of trained nurses in dealing with the body : 
the efficiency of the trained nurse as compared with 
that of the parent, in carrying out a doctor's orders : the 
efficiency of the trained artisan as compared with that 



of the man in the street, in ordinary affairs : the differ- 
ence between learning, and observing how we learn : 
the difference between seeing that there is a difficulty, 
and in recognising in what the difficulty consists : and 
the difference between recognising the elements which 
make the difficulty, and knowing the best method of 
overcoming it. 



Pestalozzi himself declares what he sought to ac- 
complish, viz.f (i) in the theory of education : *' I want 
to psychologise instruction " ; (2) in the art of educa- 
tion: "The public common school coach, throughout 
Europe, must not simply be better horsed: what it 
needs most of all is that it should be turned completely 
round, and brought on to an entirely new road ". And 
this as a stepping-stone to the general good, through the 
advancement of the welfare of the working classes. As 
he himself says, in writing of the effect of Rousseau's 
works on his mind, he desired an '' extended sphere of 
activity, in which [he] might promote the welfare and 
happiness of the people " ; and again, in his letter to 
Anna Schulthess : "I shall not forget the precepts of 
Menalk, and my first resolutions to devote myself 
wholly to my country ; I shall never, from fear of man, 
refrain from speaking, when I see that the good of my 
country calls ujx)n me to speak ; my whole heart is my 
country's ; I will risk all to alleviate the need and 
misery of my fellow-countrymen ". 

As to his success Raumer says : " He compelled the 
scholastic world to revise the whole of their task, to 
reflect on the nature and destiny of man, as also on the 
proper way of leading him from his youth towards his 

307 20 * 


destiny. And this was done, not in the superficial 
rationalistic manner of Basedow and his school, but so 
profoundly that even a man like Fichte anticipated very 
great things from it." Professor Joseph Payne declares 
that Pestalozzi "stands forth among educational re- 
formers as the man whose influence on education is 
wider, deeper, more penetrating than that of all the 
rest — the prophet and the sovereign of the domain in 
which he lived and laboured ". 

Fichte said : " Pestalozzi's essential aim has been to 
raise the lower classes, and clear away all differences 
between them and the educated classes. It is not only 
popular education that is thus realised, but national 
education. Pestalozzi's system is powerful enough to 
help nations, and the whole human race, to rise from 
the miserable state in which they have been wallow- 
ing." Herbart writes: "The welfare of the people is 
Pestalozzi's aim — the welfare of the common, crude 
population. He desired to take care of those of whom 
fewest do take care. He did not seek the crown of 
merit in your mansions, but in your hovels." 

Of Pestalozzi's work Herbart says : " The whole field 
of actual and possible sense-perception is open to the 
Pestalozzian method; its movements in it will grow 
constantly freer and larger. Its peculiar merit consists 
in having laid hold more boldly and more zealously 
than any former method of the duty of building up the 
child's mind ; of constructing in it a definite experience 
in the light of clear sense-perception ; not acting as if 
the child had already an experience, but taking care 
that it gets one ; by not chatting with him as though 
in him, as in the adult, there was already a need for 
communicating and elaborating his acquisitions; but. 


in the very first place, giving him that which later on 
can be, and is to be, discussed. 

*' The Pestalozzian method, therefore, is by no means 
qualified to crowd out any other method, but to pre- 
pare the way for it. It takes the earliest age that is at 
all capable of receiving instruction. It treats it with 
the seriousness and simplicity which are appropriate 
where the very first raw materials are to be procured." 

Professor A. Pinloche, in the introduction to his book 
on Pestaiozzi, says : " For Pestalozzi was reserved the 
undying fame of having not only restored to credit the 
processes of the method of sense-perception, already known 
and applied, but, above all, of having realised both the 
social importance of the education of the people and 
the most suitable means of determining its method ". 
He also speaks of Pestalozzi's ''original and powerful 
pedagogy ". 

Mr. Thomas Davidson, in A History of Education , 
says : '' Pestalozzi is the parent of the modern love for 
children, and it is this love that has transformed educa- 
tion from a harsh, repressive discipline into a tender, 
thoughtful guidance. . . . After Pestalozzi people saw 
children with new eyes, invested them with new interest, 
and felt the importance of placing them in a true rela- 
tion to the world of nature and culture. It is not too 
much to say that all modern education breathes the 
spirit of Pestalozzi. It is education for freedom, not 
for subordination." 

Dr. Diesterweg, a great German educationist, thus 
sums up the changes brought about by Pestalozzi : 
" Instead of brutal, staring stupidity, close and tense 
attention ; for dull and blockish eyes, cheerful and 
pleased looks ; for crooked back, the natural erectness 



of figure; for dumbness or silence, joyous pleasure in 
speaking, and promptitude that even takes the word 
out of another's mouth ; for excessive verbosity in the 
teacher, and consequent stupidity in the scholar, a dia- 
logic, or, at least, a dialogic-conversational method ; for 
government by the stick, a reasonable and therefore a 
serious and strict discipline ; for mere external doctrines 
and external discipline, a mental training, in which 
every doctrine is a discipline also ; instead of govern- 
ment by force, and a consequent fear of the school and 
its pedant, love of school, and respect for the teacher ". 

W. C. Woodbridge, in the Annals of Education, says : 
" He combated with unshrinking boldness and untir- 
ing perseverance, through a long life, the prejudices and 
abuses of the age in reference to education, both by 
his example and by his numerous publications. He 
attacked with great vigour, and no small degree of 
success, that favourite maxim of bigotry and tyranny, 
that obedience and devotion are the legitimate offspring 
of ignorance. ... In this way he produced an impulse 
which pervaded Europe and which, by means of his 
popular and theoretical works, reached the cottages of 
the poor and the palaces of the great." 

To sum up briefly what Pestalozzi accomplished, we 
may say that he democratised education : he psycholo- 
gised it : he revolutionised teaching methods : he showed 
the way to research and experimental work in education : 
and introduced child-study. He taught us that not only 
must the teacher know the child as a living and growing 
organism, but he must acquire the art of becoming as a 
little child so that he may influence, in the surest and 
best ways, the child's development. Like Froebel he 
said, in effect : " Come, let us live with our children ". 


That is to say, the teacher must adopt the standpoint of 
a child, as a well-graced actor dons the character which 
he impersonates. This must be done without exag- 
geration, fuss, or affectation ; and without losing the 
control which wisdom, affection and authority should 
give. The teacher's mind should be so saturated with 
the realisation of the child's view of things that he un- 
consciously — in a great measure — works in a child-like 
(not childish) manner. 

Above all, Pestalozzi is the one who first tried to 
analyse and systematise the very elements of the 
science of education. He dealt with the first begin- 
nings, the real origins, of educational development. As 
Herbart says: "The Pestalozzian method . . . takes 
care of the earliest age that is at all capable of re- 
ceiving instruction. It treats it with the seriousness 
and simplicity which are appropriate where the very 
first raw materials are to be procured." Herein Pes- 
talozzi was the father of infants' education, in the 
modern sense ; and his great disciple Froebel — himself 
in turn a Master — was truly an expounder and expander 
of Pestalozzian principles. Although Pestalozzi only 
sometimes dealt with those who were infants as to 
their bodies, he (personally) nearly always dealt with 
those who were infants as to their minds. It was of 
these that he was always thinking, and it was with 
them that he was so extraordinarily successful, as a 
practical teacher. 

Perhaps the greatest success that Pestalozzi had was 
his influence upon two such men as Froebel and Her- 
bart. Froebel says : *' It soon became evident to me 
that Pestalozzi was to be the watchword of my life". 
Herbart wrote several essays on Pestalozzi's A B C of 


Sense-Perception, and himself wrote a treatise on the 
same subject. Through these two men Pestalozzi has, 
in a special sense and degree, influenced all modern 
education. Indeed it is not too much to say that, in 
relation to modern education, Pestalozzi began every- 
thing, though he finished nothing. 

During Pestalozzi's lifetime his system was intro- 
duced into most of the European countries : Alexander 
Boniface, for a time teacher of French at Yverdon, 
established a Pestalozzian school in Paris. Bloch- 
mann, teacher of music and geography at Yverdon, be- 
came chief educational counsellor to the King of Saxony ; 
Gruner, who visited Yverdon, was head of a Pesta- 
lozzian school at Frankfort (where Froebel first taught) ; 
Muller, who was sent to Burgdorf to study the system, 
opened a Pestalozzian school at Mainz ; Plamann, a 
visitor at Burgdorf, conducted a Pestalozzian school at 
Berlin ; Barraud, who learnt under Pestalozzi, con- 
ducted a school at Bergerac ; Voitel of Soleure founded 
a school at Madrid, and a training college for teachers 
at Santander ; Strom and Torlitz, two teachers sent by 
the King of Denmark to study the system at Burgdorf, 
were put in charge of a school in Copenhagen ; one 
teacher went to St. Petersburg. The King of Holland 
sent two student-teachers to Yverdon ; and the Crown 
Prince himself visited the institution. Many young 
men from all parts, more especially from Germany, 
went to the institute as visitors, to study the system. 

Our own country also came under the influence of 
Pestalozzi. Dr. Kay based much of the teaching and 
organisation of the Battersea Training College (founded 
1840) on the principles of Pestalozzi and Fellenberg. 
When he (Dr. Kay) became secretary of the Education 


Department, he tried to spread a knowledge of Pesta- 
lozzian method amongst teachers in London, but met 
with little success. He introduced the Tables of the 
Relations of Numbers ; and in 1855 a translation by Mr. 
J. Tilleard of Raumer's Life and System of Pestalozzi 
was included in the books given " By grant from the 
Committee of Council on Education ". This transla- 
tion had already appeared in the Educational Expositor. 
Previous to this the Irish Commissioners for Education 
had published an edition of a manual of exercises in 
arithmetic, according to Pestalozzian methods, for the 
use of their teachers ; and had introduced the methods 
into the Dublin Model Schools. M. Du Puget, a 
student-teacher at Yverdon, was teaching arithmetic on 
the principles of Pestalozzi at a school at Abbeyleix, in 
Ireland, in 1821. 

The Home and Colonial Infant School Society (the 
original name), which opened its schools and training 
college on ist June, 1863, was founded for the purpose 
of furthering Pestalozzi's ideas. In the " sketch of the 
course that is contemplated " we find it stated that 
*' number and form will occupy, as they always do in a 
Pestalozzian school, a prominent place. . . . There will 
be two courses of drawing — first, using it as a means 
of developing invention, ingenuity and taste ; second, 
using it as an imitative art. In singing it is hoped to 
carry out the beautiful system of Naegeli, which begins 
at the very commencement ; and by its elementary 
exercises cultivates both the ear and voice before sing-' 
ing is practised." Hermann Kriisi, the son of Pesta- 
lozzr^s assistant, taught arithmetic and drawing in the 
institution. Charles Reiner, also one of Pestalozzi's 
assistants, was at one time a member of the staff. 


Closely connected with the work of this society were 
Rev. Charles Mayo, LL.D., and his sister, Miss Eliza- 
beth Mayo, two enthusiastic educationists to whom 
England probably owes more for the benefits of Pesta- 
lozzi's principles than to any other two persons. They 
jointly wrote Observations on the Establishment and Di- 
rection of Infants' Schools, and Pestalozzi and His Prin- 
ciples, the first editions of which were published in 1827 
and 1828 respectively. 

Dr. Mayo — having heard through Mr. Synge of 
Glanmore Castle, County Wickford, of Pestalozzi's 
principles of education — went to Yverdon in July, 1819, 
and stayed nearly three years with Pestalozzi ; during 
which time they got to know and esteem each other so 
well that "[he] loved Pestalozzi as a father and was 
himself loved as a son " (Miss Mayo, Pestalozzi and His 
Principles). How highly Pestalozzi thought of Dr. 
Mayo will be seen from the testimonial which he gave 
him when he left the institute. 

" I the undersigned certify by these lines, in testi- 
mony of my esteem and of my sincere acknowledg- 
ments, that the Rev. Charles Mayo has lived for three 
years in my house, and has taken charge, during that 
time, of divine service, and given lessons in religion, 
and has been the director of the English pupils in my 
establishment, in all religious, moral and scientific 
subjects ; and that in this capacity he has co-operated 
with much good-will and sagacity, and with a success 
full of blessings, in the aim of the efforts of my life, to 
their fullest extent. Viewing our proceedings without 
prejudice, he has distinguished himself as much by his 
serenity as by the active part he has taken. By 
reason of this he has attained to a very exact and pro- 

Part of a Letter written by Pestalozzi to Dr. Mayo. The 


From MS. in the possession of Miss Mayo. 


found knowledge of the tendency of our efforts. Also 
he has grasped the principles and the particular 
methods, and their qualifications, which are peculiar 
to our system of education and manner of instruction. 

" For some time I have found him to be a sensible 
man, sedate and benevolent, in the affairs of my own 
house ; and I am convinced that, as his stay in our 
house has been for him and for me a great gain, he will 
— by reason of his ripe knowledge of the aim of our 
efforts, and of his positive conviction of the important 
and essential advantages of a part of these efforts — 
exert a very great influence in his own country ; which 
being in the habit of welcoming everything that it 
recognises to be for good, will extend the same gener- 
osity in favour of our views. His noble heart nourishes 
this scheme, true to nature as it is, with as much zeal 
as his mind understands the means of carrying it out in 
all its purity, all its depth, and all its extent. 

" May God be with you, my very dear friend ! My 
sincere gratitude, my deep affection, is with you. My 
fervent desire is to see you once more during my life, 
and to nourish once more, with you by my side, those 
hopes the accomplishment of which is scarcely possible 
until after my death. May my good wishes accompany 
you and bring you happily to your own country and to 
the arms of your mother, whom you love with tender 
and filial affection. 

*' Pestalozzi. 

" YvERDON, Sth April, 1822." 

On his return to England in April, 1822, he made 
arrangements for opening a school, to be conducted on 
Pestalozzian principles, for the children of the upper 
classes. This was established at Epsom, and com- 


menced in August, 1822. So great was its success that 
it had to be removed to larger premises, and was taken 
to Cheam after the midsummer holidays, 1826. Here 
the school became very famous, and many of the fore- 
most men of the next generation received their early 
education within its walls. Miss Mayo had, at her 
brother's request, been preparing herself for several 
years to assist him in school-work, and was his right 
hand both at Epsom and Cheam. 

Perhaps the greatest good they did for English 
education generally was to demonstrate the value and 
importance of object lessons in school work, and to 
organise them on Pestalozzian principles and practical 
lines. To Miss Mayo belongs the chief credit of this. 
She wrote several excellent little manuals for teachers, 
viz., (i) Lessons on Objects (1830), which passed through 
twenty-six editions, was translated into Spanish, and 
also published in America ; (2) Lessons on Shells (1831); 
(3) Model Lessons for Infants' School Teachers and Nursery 
Governesses (1838) ; and others, which proved of the 
greatest service in spreading sounder views of educa- 
tional methods. 

In the preface to the fourteenth edition (1855) of 
Lessons on Objects Miss Mayo remarks : " When this 
work was first presented to the public, nearly thirty 
years since, the idea of systematically using the material 
world as one of the means of educating the minds 
of children was so novel and so untried a thing in 
England, that the title. Lessons on Objects, excited many 
a smile, and the success of the little volume was 
deemed to be, at best, very dubious. The plain sound 
sense of the plan, however, soon recommended it to our 
teachers, and they discovered that reading, writing 


and arithmetic do not form the sole basis of elementary 
education, but that the objects and actions of every-day 
life should have a very prominent place in their pro- 

Miss Mayo was very closely connected with the found- 
ing and the working of the Home and Colonial Infant 
School Society. Mr. John Stuckey Reynolds, of Hamp- 
stead, desiring to devote his life to philanthropic effort, 
and hearing of Miss Mayo's knowledge of Pestalozzian- 
ism, called on her and invited her to supervise the teach- 
ing in a training college with practising schools, while 
he undertook the financial arrangements. She agreed 
to do this, and for over twenty years was the guiding 
spirit of the institution. 

Such are some of the more immediate outcomes of 
Pestalozzi's work. Of the full and final result of his 
life and ideas no man can form a just estimate; but 
certain it is that the world is the richer, and mankind 
the happier because of them. It is given to but few 
men to do world-work, but Pestalozzi was one of these ; 
though the world at large has not yet fully understood 
and realised what he has done for it. When it does it 
is not too much to say that his ideas will never be 
entirely fulfilled, so true and deep are they. Improved 
they should, and must, be ; exhausted they can never 
be, in that they are true to the innermost core of man's 

Of this great and good man we may say, in the elo- 
quent words of De Guimps, as true to-day as when he 
wrote them more than twenty years ago : ** He died at 
his work, this noble friend of the poor; and, dying, he 
addressed a supreme appeal to those who might do 
more and better than he had done, and continue after 


him the work that he had the sorrow of leaving un- 
finished. In his humble modesty he seems to have 
forgotten that it was he who had accompHshed the 
hardest and most important task, by laying bare the 
vices of his time, discovering the principles of a salutary 
reform, and throwing a way open in which we have 
now but to walk. 

" It is for the true and warm friends of humanity, 
those who, understanding Pestalozzi, feel themselves 
at one with him in spirit and heart, to answer his appeal, 
and follow him in the difficult path made easier by his 
devotion. To-day the gate stands wide open, and the 
need is pressing." 


The following five books are named because they are in English, and were 
written by men who knew Pestalozzi and his work. All except numbers 
I and 4 are out of print, but they are to be found in public and private 
libraries : — 

I. Life of Pestalozzi, by Roger de Guimps. 2. On Early Education, 
letters to J. P. Greaves. 3. Henry Pestalozzi, by Dr. E. Biber. 4. 
A B C of Sense-Perception, by Herbart. 5. Pestalozzi, by Dr. and Miss 

Some other books: i. Esprit de la Methode d' education de Pestalozzi, 
by M. A. Jullien. 2. Pestalozzi, by J. Guillaume. 3. Zur Biographie 
Pestalozzis, by H. Morf. 4. Pestalozzis Sammtliche Werke, edited by 
Seyffarth. 5. Pestalozzi and Swiss Pedagogy, edited by Henry Barnard. 


The relation of Pestalozzi's theories on the development of knowledge, 
ideas and language, and on the laws of thought, should be compared 
with those of the great thinkers who preceded him, viz., Aristotle, 
Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Leibnitz and Kant. Some idea of these may 
be obtained from the following : — 

I. Biographical History of Philosophy, by G. H. Lewes. 2. On Hurhan 
Understanding, by Locke. 3. The Port-Royal Logic, translated by T. S. 
Baynes. 4. Laws of Thoiight, by Thomson. 5. Elementary Lessons in 
Logic, by Jevons. 

The relation of Pestalozzi's ideas on these subjects to those of to-day 
may be seen by the study of the Manual of Psychology, by G. F. Stout ; 
The Principles of Psychology, by William James; The Logical Bases of 
Education, by J. Welton; The Child's Mind, by W. E. Urwick. 



Anschauung: nature of, 179-81. 
Arithmetic : see number. 
Atmosphere : the school, 256-61. 

Biber, Dr. : on the Neuhof failure, 
50-51 ; on the Yverdon Institute, 
93-96; on P.'s assistants, 103-4. 

Burgdorf : P.'s work at, 80-88. 

Character of P., 121-41. 
Child-study: P.'s work in, 33-38, 

43-44, 75-76, 144-48. 
Christopher and Eliza, 59. 
Clindy Poor School, iio-ii. 
Curriculum : at Yverdon, 100-2. 

Der Erinnerer, 27, 149. 

" Discover everything " : criticism 
of, 300-2. 

Drawing: beginnings of, 215 ; teach- 
ing of, 215-18, 286-87. 

Education : 

nature and aims of, 

Fellenberg de, Emmanuel, 16-18, 59. 
Form: in education, 185-86, 189-go; 

teaching of, 215-22 ; criticism of 

P.'s ideas on, 297-300. 
Froebel : on P., 131-32, 311. 

Genetic education, 173-78, 186, 189, 


Genius : the nature and work of, 
1-2, 148, 304-5. 

Geography : teaching of, 230-32. 

Girard Pere, 15-16. 

Guimps de : on the Yverdon In- 
stitute, 97-99. 

Gymnastics : 

nature and use of 

Helvetic Society, the, 13-14, 27, 

Herbart: on P., 177-78, 308-9, 311. 
History : teaching of, 232-33. 
How Gertrude Teaches : ahn and 

nature of, 83. 

of, 183-84, 
process of. 

Ideas : development 

186-88, 191. 
Intellectual education 

Intuition, or anschauung : nature of, 

179-81 ; basis of all learning, 185, 

192, 198 ; the basis of language, 

loo-i, 199-203, 205-6. 
Investigation into the Course of 

Nature : aim and scope of, 63-67* 

Knowledge : development of, 182-90. 

Language, criticism of P.'s idea 
of, 297-300; its function in edu- 
cation, 185-86, 189-90; teaching 
of, 197-214, 281-88, 

Latin : teaching of, 246-49. 

Leonard and Gertrude: origin and 
substance of, 53-58 ; continued, 
59, 63, 117. 

Letter : of P. : to Swiss Minister of 
Justice, 69; of Emperor to P., 

Manual work, 242-46. 

Mayo, Miss, 316-17, 

Mayo, Rev. Dr., 314-16; on the 
Yverdon Institute, 104-5 ; on P.'s 
plan of teaching Latin, 247-48. 





Morals : origin, nature and training 

in, 159-62; teaching of, 249-55. 
Moral and religious development : 

education a means of, 155-62, 

Mother, the: in education, 55, 153, 

156-58, 181, 205-6, 208, 211-13, 

260-61, 264-65. 
Munchen Buchsee : P. at, 8g. 
Music: as moral training, 161-62; 

teaching of, 237-42. 
Mutual instruction, 269-70 ; criticism 

of, 294-96. 

Natural Schoolmaster, The, 252-54. 

Nature, method of: to be followed 
in education, 36, 60, 171-78, 179, 
198, 211. 

Neuhof industrial school, 39-48. 

Number : in education, 185 - 86, 
189-90; teaching of, 34-35, 86, 97, 
222-29, 258, 287 ; criticism of P.'s 
method, etc., 296-97, 297-300. 

Observation : first-hand best, 147-48 ; 
training of, 184-89, 192, 205-6 ; 
in geography, 230-32 ; in science, 

Pestalozzi : as a Deputy, 87-88 ; as 
a practical teacher, 283 ; at school, 
21-22; at college, 27-31; begins 
to be famous, 69-70; begins as 
vv^riter, 50-55 ; failure at Neuhof, 
44-49 ; leaves farming, 32-33 ; last 
days and work, 113-19 ; studies 
his child, 33-38; what he did for 
education, 307-13. 

Physical development : education as 
means of, 162-66; training, 95, 

Popular Swiss News : aim and 
nature of, 68. 

Punishment : as natural conse- 
quence, 38, 157, 275; school, 


Reading : is secondary in education, 

198 ; teaching of, 207-14, 257. 
Reports on P.'s work: at Stanz, 

76-77; at Burgdorf, 84-87; at 

Yverdon, 106-7. 
Rousseau : his Contrat Social, 11-13 ; 

influence on P., 28. 

School-books : written by and for 

P., 83-84, lOI. 
Schools : kind of in P.'s time, 23-26. 
Science : teaching of, 233-37. 
Senses : training of, 164-65. 
Simultaneous oral work, 266-68, 285 ; 

criticism of, 292-94. 
Social development : education a 

means of, 149-55, 168-69. 
Spelling : teaching of, 203-8, 284. 
Staff conferences, 270-73. 
Stanz orphan school : history of, 

Summaries of P.'s theory, 194-96. 
Swan's Song : purpose of, 113-14. 
Swiss News ; aim and contents of, 

Switzerland : political and social 

changes in, 7-15, 68, 87-88. 

Teacher, the : as educator, 190-96 ; 

qualifications of, i6i-66 ; criticism 

of P.'s idea of, 302-6. 
Time-table, 274. 

Wanderer's evening prayer (hymn), 

Writing : is secondary in education, 

198 ; teaching of, 146, 257, 219-21 ; 

and composition, 221-22. 

Yverdon : P.'s work at, 89-112. 



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